What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is an NSAID that reduces the hormones that cause body pain and inflammation. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug can reduce fever and treat pain and inflammation resulting from various conditions, including headache, back pain, toothache, menstrual cramps, arthritis, or minor injuries.
Ibuprofen is safe for use in adults and children as long as they are older than six months.
This medicine can increase the risks of a stroke or heart attack, primarily if you use it for an extended period or consume high doses. People with heart diseases should be extra cautious while taking this drug. Try not to use ibuprofen before or after heart bypass surgery.
This medicine might also cause intestinal or stomach bleeding, which can be fatal. This drug’s dangerous effects can occur spontaneously without any warning, especially in older adults.
Avoid using more than the recommended dose because an overdose can damage your intestines and stomach. Consume only the smallest amount of medicine to get relief from fever, swelling, or pain.
What to know before taking ibuprofen?
Check with a doctor if you are allergic to it before taking this medicine. Try not to use this medicine if you ever had an asthma attack, hives, or severe allergic reaction after consuming acetaminophen, aspirin, or an NSAID.
Discuss this drug’s safety with a doctor before using it if you have any of the following problems:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clot
- A history of stomach bleeding or ulcers
- Liver or kidney disease
- A connective tissue disease like lupus
- Fluid retention
Kidney issues can often occur while using NSAID medications. Usually, these problems occur if you are dehydrated, have kidney disease or heart failure, or consuming some specific medicines. Try drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and possible kidney problems.
Ibuprofen can make a person more sensitive to the sun. Try limiting your exposure and avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Also, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen when going outdoors. Inform the doctor if you have skin blisters, redness, or get sunburned.
This drug can also cause complications during surgery. So inform the doctor ahead of time if you are to undergo a procedure.
Older people are more susceptible to ibuprofen’s adverse effects, primarily intestinal or stomach bleeding, heart attack, kidney problems, and stroke.
Women of childbearing age should try consulting a doctor about ibuprofen’s risks and benefits before using it. Also, inform the healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before starting treatment with this drug. If used during pregnancy, ibuprofen might harm the unborn child and interfere with expected delivery.
This medication can pass into breastmilk and cause undesirable effects on the nursing infant. Try talking with a doctor before breastfeeding if you are using this drug.
How to take ibuprofen?
When using ibuprofen, follow your doctor’s guidelines and read the prescription label’s instructions and the medication guide. Avoid using it for more than the recommended period and higher than the prescribed amount. Try using the minimum effective dose to treat your problem.
The maximum amount of ibuprofen is typically 800mg per dose or 3200mg per day; consuming more than this amount might damage your intestines or stomach.
Doctors usually determine a child’s dose based on their weight. Carefully follow the dosing instructions when giving this drug to children. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using this medicine.
If this medicine upsets your stomach, try consuming it with a glass of milk or some food.
If you are taking oral suspension, shake it well before measuring a dose. Use a dosing syringe or special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup to get the precise amount. If you don’t have a specific measure tool, ask your pharmacist for it.
Thoroughly chew the ibuprofen chewable tablets before swallowing them.
You might have to go through frequent medical tests if you are using this drug for the long-term.
Keep this medicine at room temperature at a place that is cool and free of moisture. Also, don’t let the liquid form of this drug to freeze.
You can find ibuprofen in the form of a tablet, syrup, and an intravenous preparation. Consuming the correct dose is vital for avoiding this drug’s side effects.
Doctors consider several factors before prescribing a sufficient dose; these factors include:
- Patient’s age
- The problem to treat
- The severity of the condition
- Other medications that the patient is using
- Other medical issues that the patient might have
- How the body reacts to the initial dose
The typical ibuprofen dosage is as per the following:
Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
- The dose is between 1,200mg and 3,200mg.
- Take the medication orally.
- Doctors usually divide this amount into several doses throughout the day.
- The usual dose is 200mg-400mg.
- Take it orally every four to six hours.
- The doctor might prescribe a dose of 400mg-800mg IV every six hours.
- The maximum daily amount is 3,200mg.
If you have ingested more than the recommended amount of ibuprofen, seek immediate medical assistance by calling the Poison helpline @ 1-800-222-1222 or vising the nearest ER.
An ibuprofen overdose can manifest in the form of the following symptoms:
- Shallow breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Black or bloody stools
- Stomach pain
What to avoid while using ibuprofen?
Refrain from drinking alcohol as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding. Also, avoid mixing this drug with aspirin or other medications without consulting a doctor. If you have to take aspirin to treat other conditions, make sure to only take ibuprofen at least half-an-hour after or eight hours before taking the aspirin.
Ibuprofen can make you dizzy, so avoid driving, operating hazardous machinery, or undertaking any activity that requires proper attention.
Ibuprofen side effects
Ibuprofen can cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. Usually, people who use this drug don’t face any adverse effects if they follow their doctor’s guidelines. However, sometimes people can encounter this drug’s undesirable effects even after taking all the cautions.
Common side effects
Typically people who use this drug as prescribed only ever face its mild side effects that don’t require any treatment as they vanish in a few days. These symptoms include:
- Sun sensitivity
- Skin peeling
- Fluid retention
- Ringing in the ears
- Stomach pain
Serious side effects
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Hemolytic anemia
- Acute renal failure
- Allergic reaction
- Liver failure
These severe symptoms might become life-threatening if not treated in time. If you feel any intense discomfort, call 911 immediately or visit the ER.
What drugs can interact with ibuprofen?
Talk with a doctor about ibuprofen’s safety if you use an antidepressant, such as:
Also, ask a doctor if ibuprofen is safe to use if you are also consuming any of the following medications:
- Steroid drugs
- Heart or blood pressure medicines
- A blood thinner
These are the most common medications that can adversely interfere with ibuprofen and worsen its side effects or make it less effective. In addition to these drugs, various prescription and over-the-counter meds, not listed here, can also interact with this drug.