The Chemistry of Ibuprofen


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I decided to do my project on the chemistry of ibuprofen. I chose to do this because as an athlete, I use ibuprofen a lot.  I have been curious on what ibuprofen is and how it makes the feeling of pain go away.

Composition of ...

Ibuprofen is composed of cellulose, corn starch, fumed silica jell, hypromellose,  lactose,  magnesuim stearate, polydextrose, polythylen gylcol, povidone, silica, sodium starch glycolate, stearic acid, titanium dioxide, and triacetine.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Ibuprofen is mainly made of cellulose and corn starch.  Cellulose is the main component of cell walls. It’s natural polymer, and it is a polysacchride with a glucose as its monomer.  Cellulose’s molecular formula  is C6H10O5. Corn starch is mainly used as a thickening agent in cooking. Its two main ingredients are amylose and amylopectin.  Both of which are chain polymers of glucose. The molecular formula for corn starch is C12H22O11.  The other components of ibuprofen are fumed silica jell, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium, polydextrose, polythylen glycol, povidone, sodium tarch glycolate, stearic acid, titanium dioxide, and triacetine. Fumed Silica Jell, SiO2, also known as silicon dioxide, is mainly used for the production of windows, drinking glasses, and beverage bottles.  Hypromellose is used as a thickening agent in food. The molecular formula for  Hypromellose is C32H60O19. Lactose is a sugar in milk. its molecular formula is  C12H22O11. Magnesium stearate has a molecular formula of (C18H35O2)2.  Polydextrose is used to enhance the flavor of calorie reduced foods. It’s molecular formula is C6H10O5. Polythylene Glycol is the main ingredient iln antifreeze. It’s molecular formula is C2H6O2.  Povidone is used to disinfect the skin. It has a molecular  formula of C6H9NO. Sodium Starch Glycolate has a molecular formula of C2H3NaO3. It is used as a coating over pills to keep the medicine in, but when the pill comes in contact with water, the protective coating goes away.  Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid. It’s molecular formula is C18H36O2. Titanium DIoxide, TiO2, it can be found in many products such as make up and paint. Triacetin is used to treat infections like athlete’s foot. Its molecular formula is C9H14O6.

Chemistry's Role

Ibuprofen was made to treat arthritis, but people wanted less side effects than aspirin.  It was made in 1961 by Stewart Adams.  Ibuprofen’s molecular formula is C13H18O2.  Ibuprofen is 75.69% Carbon, 15.51% Oxygen, and 8.80% Hydrogen.  It’s 2 main components are Cellulose and Corn Startch. Cellulose in natural occuring substance found in plants. Corn Starch is made by washing, drying, and grinding the corn’s endosperm until it is a fine power. It is natural occuring.



About the Author
Gabi Heflin is a Junior at Billings senior High School. She plays soccer and basketball.  She was interested in how ibuprofen works and how it is made. She is going to  go college at Rocky Mountain College. She plans on being a pediatrician.