Tuesday, July 5

Enantyum or Ibuprofen: can you substitute one for the other?

Enantyum or Ibuprofen? This is a fashionable question, one of the main search questions in Google regarding pain drugs. The other, Paracetamol or Ibuprofuene? We already explained it a few years ago.

What is the recommended daily maximum of Ibuprofen?

Know more

The fact is that since in the 90s the dexketoprofen molecule will be synthesized in a laboratory in Badalona, under the trade name of Enantyum, this inflammatory analgesic has been increasingly successful and relieves the use of ibuprofen on many occasions.

But, is it better than the latter, is it indicated for the same pain, does it have the same toxicity? The answers are diverse and depend on various factors. To do this, it is best to see how they are alike and how they differ from one to the other.

Main similarities

Both medicines belong to group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or voltaren, for example. They act on pain receptors, inhibiting the sending of a signal to the brain so that it can offer an inflammatory response.

In this sense, both are indicated for inflammation caused by blows, muscle contractures, lumbago, etc. However, dexketoprofen has a specific action against muscle aches.

In this sense, not indicated for headaches, for example, which is the case with ibuprofen. Also, since they are both NSAIDs, we must be careful with the frequency of taking, since both are gastro-injurious.

Although ibuprofen is considerably less so than dexketoprofen, which it is the fourth most gastrolesive NSAID, as shown the following table, prepared by the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy:

Efficacy differences

Despite being the two NSAIDs, their molecules work differently, and while the efficacy of ibuprofen is proven at doses between 400 and 600 mg, the recommended 400 mg being, dexketoprofen works with the same efficiency with only 25 mg. In other words, its effect is more powerful.

However, as has already been said, Enantyum is much more specific and gastro-injurious, so both for efficacy and for precaution it should be limited to the following actions:

  • Menstrual pain
  • Muscle aches due to contractures, low back pain, etc.
  • Pains derived from gum inflammation and problems with teeth and molars.
  • Postoperative pain.

A study indicates that after oral surgery, ibuprofen takes longer to work than dexketoprofen although its analgesic duration is longer (from 6 to 8 hours compared to 5 and a half hours).

And the same indicates this Cochrane review, which reveals that a single dose of dexketoprofen of 10 mg to 25 mg achieves a high level of pain relief, between 45% and 50%, in patients with moderate to severe postoperative pain.


  • Dexketoprofen, or Enantyum, is more efficient with lower doses and acts much faster than ibuprofen, although its effect lasts about two and a half hours less.
  • By cons, ibuprofen has a wider range of applications than Enantyum, which is only active against certain pains – remember that it is not useful against migraine, hangover or migraine – and its effect lasts considerably longer.
  • Regarding its toxicity, both are gastrolesive and should be very moderate, especially in people with ulcers, as well as coronary, kidney or liver failure. However, dexketoprofen is more damaging to the stomach than ibuprofen.
  • Therefore, the Enantyum can only replace ibuprofen in certain circumstances.

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