Oral non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drug use in recreational runners participating in Parkrun UK: Prevalence of use and awareness of risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Queen Mary Univ London
  • University of Birmingham


Objective: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used in endurance running and by elite athletes. We examined the pattern of use of NSAIDs, the purpose of use and knowledge of the adverse effects of NSAID use in a population of recreational runners at Parkrun UK. Methods: An online observational non-interventional cross-sectional survey of Parkrun UK participants being over the age of 18, on Parkrun UK’s mailing list, and residing in the UK. Key Findings: Runners (n = 806) had a high use of NSAIDs in the past 12 months (87.8%). The average age of respondents was 48.39 years. There was a significant association between those taking an oral NSAID in the last twelve months and those with a sporting injury (χ 2 = 10.89, df = 1, n = 797, P = 0.001). Ibuprofen was the most commonly used NSAID (81.1%). A third of runners had experienced an adverse drug reaction associated with NSAIDs, usually gastrointestinal. Half of runners used NSAIDs with no advice, and patient information leaflets were the most common source for those that had advice. Ninety-four per cent of runners would like more information on the harms and benefits of NSAIDs. Conclusions: Some recreational runners have a high use of NSAIDs, which is chronic in nature and a potential health risk. Recreational runners want more information on the harms and benefits of NSAIDs. Race event organizers should provide evidence-based advice on the use of NSAIDs.


Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Early online date21 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2020


  • Adverse Drug Reactions < Patient Safety, Consumer Attitudes, Drug Utilisation, Non-prescription Medicines < Community Pharmacy, Patient Attitudes < Lay Perspectives, Patient Behaviour, Pharmacovigilance < Pharmaceutical Public Health