Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that most people use to reduce headaches, treat soreness and eliminate pain throughout the body. It acts by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX) responsible for the production of the inflammatory mediators, meaning that a less intense signal gets sent to the brain by the nerve endings. As such, it is part of a class of anti-inflammatory drugs which decelerate the process that leads to inflammation, congestion, and hypersensitive nerve endings.
In the case of the common cold, ibuprofen works in two ways:
- Ibuprofen lessens the perception of pain by blocking the receptors for the COX enzyme.
- It also reduces swelling in the nose and sinuses, which in turn, alleviates sinus pressure and pain. It does this by decreasing inflammation of the mucosa in the nose and sinus.
While ibuprofen will not treat all cold symptoms, it can make the effects of those symptoms easier to deal with. The bottom line is that treating pain and cold symptoms with a product like Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain can go a long way towards making cold-sufferers feel better.