Stewart Adams, the scientist who developed ibuprofen

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Stewart Adams, the scientist who developed ibuprofen

The Golden Anniversary of a medicine is a good occasion to make the point on its safety profile (

Actually, this article starts with a short view of the interesting story of Stewart Adams. He passed away about a year ago (30-01-2019), in the same year of the golden anniversary of his most popular invention, ibuprofen, at the age of 96. This drug has represented a milestone in the fight against pain. That's why he definitely represented (and represents) a scientist of enormous interest in the history of humanity, and especially in the history of Pain Medicine.

In my opinion, the history of personalities like Stewart Adams should be better known in the world of pain medicine. They offered their life and their brain to guarantee a better quality of life to the pain patients. Unfortunately, the digital world is more interested in short breaking news, and very frequently forget of the important people that made possible the progress of the humankind. This may be very dangerous trend because, as said by Jean d'Ormesson (Academic of France) "The future without the past is blind; the past without future is fruitless....".

Going back to the recently published paper (Varrassi, G., Pergolizzi, J.V., Dowling, P. et al. Adv Ther (2020) 37: 61-82. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01144-9), it is completely devoted to the side effects of ibuprofen, one of the most sold NSAIDs in the world. Its lecture may be very useful for the pain physicians, and for many of the health professionals that cope with pain patients. The safety profile of drugs, especially the ones used for chronic diseases, is always of paramount importance in the everyday clinical approach to the patients.

I would kindly ask the readers of this blog to send me ( their comments and criticisms on the article.

Giustino Varrassi

Fondazione Paolo Procacci onlus

Via Tacito 7 - 00193 Roma - Email:

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