The supply of sub-standard pharmaceutical products is on the rise. This imposes a greater challenge to health, and hence the need to constantly investigate the quality of medicines to check compliance with international official standards; surveillance. The purpose of the study was to compare three distinct brands of commercially available Ibuprofen 400 mg tablets in Gaborone, Botswana to elucidate compliance through investigating their physicochemical properties. The three brands were procured from pharmacy outlets (Gaborone, Botswana) and that their physicochemical parameters of uniformity of weight, friability, disintegration, hardness and assay were assessed with respect to British Pharmacopoeia 2018. All the three ibuprofen brands showed friability of less than 1 % while uniformity of weight for Ibunate (541.2 ± 0.004 mg), Ibufen (877.3 ± 0.027 mg) and Apo-ibuprofen (573.5 ± 0.004 mg) were registered. Disintegration times for the three brands ranged between 1 and 22 minutes which were within the 60-minute BP specification. Hardness for Ibufen, Ibunate and Apo-ibuprofen were found to be 5.6 ± 0.65 kg/cm2, 6.8 ± 0.76 kg/cm2 and 8.0 ± 0.61 kg/cm2, respectively. For assay, Ibufen (95.7 ± 2.2 %), Ibunate (95.6 ± 5.0 %) and Apo-ibuprofen (82.1 ± 3.9 %) were recorded. In conclusion, apo-ibuprofen, ibunate and ibufen tablets in Gaborone, Botswana were pharmaceutically non-equivalent with apo-ibuprofen being sub-standard. In addition, ibunate and ibufen tablets were suitable for patients’ consumption.
Keywords: Ibufen; ibunate; apo-ibuprofen; sub-standard; surveillance