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VERIFY: Glass is NOT an ingredient of this over-the-counter medicine

This claim was debunked by the FDA and medical experts.

ATLANTA — With health at the top of most conversations, a lot of people are paying more attention to what they are putting into their bodies. 

A viewer reached out to our VERIFY team to get answers about what she heard was in over-the-counter pain medication. 

We took her question to the experts to get the answer.  


Is Ibuprofen made with glass shards? 


No, according to the FDA and a medical expert, Ibuprofen is not made with glass shards. 


Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter medication used to ease head and muscle aches. 

But what's in the pills? 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides an online list of ingredients that does NOT include glass shards. 

It's possible this claim started because of a Kaiser Permanente investigation in 2014 that found a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences. 

The lawsuit was from two former employees of the South Korean manufacturer that claimed they discovered "glass-like shards and other foreign material" in two HIV medications. 

“I don’t recall any recent cases of over-the-counter drugs being contaminated with foreign bodies or substances," said 11Alive medical correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy.

She said that in the years she's practiced medicine, she's never heard of shards of glass in ibuprofen. But she does offer some advice. 

“As far as for medication, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. And if someone is really concerned about the manufacturing standards? That may be the one instance where you should purchase a brand name item because they typically have more checks and balances in their manufacturing processes than some of the generic manufactures might," Dr. Reddy said. 

So, we can verify shards of glass are not commonly found in the ingredients of ibuprofen.

11Alive's Verify team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to Verify.

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