Ibuprofen: Barney’s Formula For Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be significantly improved, cured, cleared up or put into a remission if you want with anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen. Psoriasis cause is all about the excessive inflammation and Ibuprofen is one of the most popular anti-inflammatory drugs.

Usually it is a headache, tooth pain or achy back what makes you take a pill containing ibuprofen but the underlying causes – production of inflammatory mediators – are very similar in psoriasis as well.

This blog post is not intended to make you think that taking ibuprofen is good for psoriasis or that it is a cure.

I do NOT recommend taking Ibuprofen for psoriasis because it has some nasty (side) effects like – stomach ulcers, kidney failure and heart attack!

Ibuprofen is considered relatively safe only when taken occasionally to suppress the acute pain. It is not intended and safe for regular or even daily use and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases!

The sad truth is that doctors are commonly prescribing it for joint pain which leads to further deterioration of the joint function because ibuprofen blocks the processes involved in repairing of the various tissues; including the cartilage.

Ibuprofen for hangovers

It’s nothing very surprising that Ibuprofen can cure psoriasis in a few weeks or months in some cases. It is a potent anti-inflammatory drug… and psoriasis is just a symptom of inflammation.

Even hangovers caused by excessive alcohol consumption can be significantly ameliorated by ibuprofen.

The off-label use of Ibuprofen for hangovers was mentioned also by Dr. Stewart – the head scientist of team who developed Ibuprofen in early 1960’s.

As you can see, hangovers seem to be just a symptom of inflammation as well.

Ibuprofen cure psoriasis in a few weeks

The use of Ibuprofen became fairly popular about 11 years ago when user with nickname bjmacc shared his experiences with the combination of his supplement stack + Ibuprofen on psoriasis discussion boards.

His protocol became known as “Barney’s formula” and was quite popular for a few years after.

Barneys formula

one small multivitamin

and add to that
1000-1500 iu of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferal ) more in winter less in summer
(1000IU= 25mcg)

200mcg selenium
250 mcg B12…….
400 mcg folic acid

2x 1000 flax seed oil
2 x 1200 fish oil
400mg calcium if you don’t eat a lot of dairy cheese etc…
200 mg ibuprofen in the evening with water or fluid

If cost is an issue…then take just

1000 iu -1500 iu of vitamin D3 (not D2).. more in winter less in
one multivitamin
200mg ibuprofen with water or fluid..

go for cheap…should be less then $.25/day

Source: https://www.inspire.com/groups/talk-psoriasis/discussion/barneys-formula/

However, when you check his supplements list you will find out that Ibuprofen and D3 is probably what was doing the biggest job in healing his psoriasis.

I’m 58 and have had P for over 20 years. The last 5 years it increased in severity to the point where i bled so bad after a bath it would soak through my cloths .My psoriasis was severe plaque and some spots..hair,arms,legs and waist were covered. Severe nail pitting and PA in shoulder and hands. I won’t go into a long story on how i came upon this treatment but Ive been on this regimen for over two years with almost total remission for most of that time. Last winter i went off the formula and within 2-3 months i had returned to full blown psoriasis. I know this works and believe it will help almost anyone who tries it. I will answer any questions i can.
” quoted from bjmacc post – January 9, 2007 at 8:36 pm
Source: https://www.inspire.com/groups/talk-psoriasis/discussion/barneys-formula/

You know as I always say it does not matter where you cut off that inflammatory pathway if the result is less inflammation, less hypercoagulation, better nervous system function and shift to rest-repair-digest state of the Autonomic Nervous System.

That’s the fact and reason why they always come up with new biologic drug – one blocking the TNF-alpha and the another blocking the IL-17 – and both will work.

If you lower the inflammation you will get less pronounced symptoms which in case of psoriasis means usually less red dry scaly patches, less itching and less burning.

COX-2 enzyme is induced by TNF-alpha so think twice before you start taking Ibuprofen on a regular basis instead of resolving the cause of excessive TNF-alpha release.

Image Source: Hongning Zhou, Vladimir N. Ivanov, Joseph Gillespie, Charles R. Geard, Sally A. Amundson, David J. Brenner, Zengliang Yu, Howard B. Lieberman and Tom K. Hei. Mechanism of radiation-induced bystander effect: Role of the cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway. PNAS October 11, 2005. 102 (41) 14641-14646; Figure no. 8. [8]

Cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) are significantly inhibited by Ibuprofen. The excessive inhibition of COX-1 causes problems like stomach ulcers as inflammatory mediators produced by COX-1 enzyme are responsible for production of protective mucus lining in the stomach.

Image Source: IHMC.US [9]

Aspirin in Presence of Endotoxins In the Blood is Pro-Inflammatory

Aspirin is a good example since it is a popular over-the-counter antiinflammatory drug (found in willow bark) used all over the world for decades.

You might think that it would be a safer alternative to ibuprofen.

Well, no.

First, it may cause significant internal bleeding and may not always act as an effective antiinflammatory drug, especially in people with high levels of endotoxins in the blood.

Any substance may act as a pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory depending on the circumstances.

The less known fact is that aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) causes kidney failure and renal necrosis in rats.[1]

Aspirin treatment even at mini-dosages like 75mg per day causes significant changes in uric acid and creatinine clearance.[2] So keep in mind the fact that Aspirin has really bad effects on kidneys!

Aspirin is sometimes a pro-inflammatory drug

The easiest explanation of the information below is that if you took Aspirin for:

  • headache caused by inflammation due to poor posture = Aspirin would be probably anti-inflammatory
  • psoriasis caused by endotoxins from small intestine due to low bile flow = Aspirin would be probably pro-inflammatory

Sadly, Aspirin is often used as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis which is strongly suspected to be caused by endotoxins just like psoriasis.[6, 7]

Aspirin may act as an anti-inflammatory drug in some ways but when it comes to lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin) induced inflammation then aspirin acts more as pro-inflammatory substance.[3]

In study from 2000 the researchers proved that aspirin “induced a concentration dependent increase (2.5-5-fold at 5 mM aspirin) in LPS-induced appearance of TNF-alpha and fibrinopeptide A (FPA) in plasma”.[3]

Addition of exogenous PGE2 before incubation nearly abrogated the effect of aspirin on TNF-alpha, substantiating the role of PGE2 as a regulator of TNF-alpha synthesis, whereas the effect on FPA was small. Thus, in the presence of LPS in this whole blood model, aspirin apparently had a pro-inflammatory rather than an anti-inflammatory effect.

The proof of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) as controller of inflammation is the fact that gel with this prostaglandin applied to the psoriatic lesions improved the skin even though complete clearing of the lesions was not achieved.[4]

However, for the truth to be told the other study performed on murine laboratory animals says that aspirin is anti-inflammatory as it is generally accepted.

We now report that therapeutic doses of aspirin suppress lipopolysaccharide-inducible NF-kappaB binding to an NF-kappaB binding site in the TNF-alpha promoter, lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-alpha mRNA accumulation, and protein secretion.

It is really a very complex issue and many factors may significantly affect the study results.

For now I think that Turmeric (active ingredient Curcumin) is generally one of the best ways how to target the inflammation. Turmeric especially when combined with Black Pepper also thins the blood via its anti-inflammatory properties.

You will find more about the effects of Turmeric and Curcumin in my future posts.


Is it worth taking Ibuprofen for psoriasis despite its risks?

I would say no but there are people who take it and it helped them.

On the other hand there are people who took Ibuprofen for psoriasis and it did nothing (good) for them.

As you can see in the picture above, COX-2 enzyme which is heavily involved in inflammation is induced by NF-kappaB which in turn is induced by TNF-alpha.

And we are back to what causes the excessive TNF-alpha production?

Endotoxins, infections, oxidative stresscopper toxicity, zinc deficiency, vitamin or mineral deficiencies


1) D’Agati V. Does aspirin cause acute or chronic renal failure in experimental animals and in humans? Am J Kidney Dis. 1996 Jul;28(1 Suppl 1):S24-9.

2) Caspi D, Lubart E, Graff E, Habot B, Yaron M, Segal R. The effect of mini-dose aspirin on renal function and uric acid handling in elderly patients. Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Jan;43(1):103-8.

3) Osnes LT, Haug KB, Joø GB, Westvik AB, Ovstebø R, Kierulf P. Aspirin potentiates LPS-induced fibrin formation (FPA) and TNF-alpha-synthesis in whole blood. Thromb Haemost. 2000 Jun;83(6):868-73.

4) Int J Dermatol. 1986 May;25(4):266-8. Prostaglandin E2 gel improvement of psoriatic lesions. Remy W, Sigl I, Leipold B.

5) Shackelford RE, Alford PB, Xue Y, Thai SF, Adams DO, Pizzo S. Aspirin inhibits tumor necrosis factoralpha gene expression in murine tissue macrophages. Mol Pharmacol. 1997 Sep;52(3):421-9.

6) Lorenz W, Buhrmann C, Mobasheri A, Lueders C, Shakibaei M. Bacterial lipopolysaccharides form procollagen-endotoxin complexes that trigger cartilage inflammation and degeneration: implications for the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2013;15(5):R111.

7) Gyurcsovics K, Bertók L. Pathophysiology of psoriasis: coping endotoxins with bile acid therapy. Pathophysiology. 2003 Dec;10(1):57-61.

8) Hongning Zhou, Vladimir N. Ivanov, Joseph Gillespie, Charles R. Geard, Sally A. Amundson, David J. Brenner, Zengliang Yu, Howard B. Lieberman and Tom K. Hei. Mechanism of radiation-induced bystander effect: Role of the cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway. PNAS October 11, 2005. 102 (41) 14641-14646; Figure no. 8.

9) http://cmapspublic3.ihmc.us/rid=1177017004187_1753003094_1201/Ibuprofen%20and%20the%20Pain%20Pathway.cmap

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