Subscriptions
  • Join our People's Pharmacy Page on Facebook
  • Follow JoeGraedon on Twitter
  • Follow Us
  • Free email newsletter

Print This Page

Ibuprofen

  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Did this drug work? Average rating: 4/5 (37 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Overview

Ibuprofen is a pain reliever used primarily for arthritis.

It may also be prescribed for menstrual cramps, bursitis, tendinitis, sprains, strains and other painful conditions. It belongs to a class of medications commonly called NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

It is now available generically, but previously it was one of the most popular arthritis drugs on the market under the brand name Motrin.

Ibuprofen may be prescribed generically or by brand names such as Children's Advil, Ibu-Tab, Motrin or Rufen. It is also available without prescription under such names as Advil, Bayer Select Pain Relief, Medipren, Nuprin or Motrin IB, among others.

Side Effects and Interactions

Unquestionably the most common side effects of ibuprofen involve the gastrointestinal tract. They include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, cramps, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

Some people may develop ulcers and intestinal bleeding while taking ibuprofen.

Occasionally these problems can occur without obvious symptoms and lead to a life-threatening crisis due to perforation of the stomach lining.
Older people appear to be more susceptible to this problem and should be monitored carefully.

Warning signs include weight loss, persistent indigestion, a feeling of fullness after moderate meals, dark or tarry stools, anemia and unusual fatigue.

Home stool tests such as Hemoccult or Fleet Detecatest may provide an early indication of bleeding.

Other side effects to be alert for include headache, ringing in the ears, rash, itching, nervousness, fluid retention and loss of appetite.

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion are possible, so do not drive if you become impaired.

Less common adverse reactions include insomnia, heart palpitations, hair loss, depression, tiredness, anemia or other blood changes, fever, visual disturbances, meningitis and sores in the mouth.

Some people might become sensitive to sunlight while on ibuprofen, so use an effective sunscreen or stay well covered. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Ibuprofen can affect both the kidney and liver, so periodic blood tests to monitor the function of these organs are important for anyone on this drug long-term.

This medication can adversely interact with many other drugs. A person taking a blood thinner like Coumadin may become far more vulnerable to a dangerous bleeding ulcer.

Aspirin may reduce the effectiveness of ibuprofen for reducing inflammation.

All the NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, can make methotrexate (Folex, Mexate, Rheumatrex) and lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, etc.) far more toxic.

Other potentially serious interactions may occur with ibuprofen reducing the effectiveness of ACE inhibitor blood pressure medicines such as Altace, Lotensin or Vasotec, beta-blocker blood pressure drugs like Corgard, Inderal LA or Tenormin, and diuretics such as Bumex, Dyazide, Lasix or Maxzide.

Hemorrhage with the combination of ginko and aspirin has been reported. We advise against combining arthritis medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) with ginkgo biloba extract.

Licorice binds to serum albumin and may interact with medications that bind to serum albumin, such as ibuprofen.

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure ibuprofen is safe in combination with any other drugs or herbs you take.

Special Precautions

People who are allergic to aspirin or other anti-inflammatory agents should avoid ibuprofen.

Signs of allergy include breathing difficulties, rash, fever, or a sudden drop in blood pressure and require immediate medical attention.

Taking the Medicine

Because ibuprofen can be hard on the digestive tract, it may be taken with food to reduce tummy trouble.

This does not guarantee, however, that the drug will be safe for the stomach. Alcohol may contribute to indigestion, ulcers and irritation and should be avoided.

  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Did this drug work? Average rating: 4/5 (37 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

14 Comments

| Leave a comment

PROBLEM WITH MOTRIN IB ON JAN. 10, 2010: I took 3 Motrin IB caplets as directed in one day (for back pain) and the next day I noticed three very small droplets of blood in the toilet (on some toilet paper)-- after I urinated. They seemed to have come out of me in my urine stream looking like little "shreds" of material. Could this have something to do with the recall of Tylenol and Motrin products due to contamination this month (Jan. 15, 2010?)? All the numbers match with the exception of the lot numbers.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THIS IS NOT PART OF THE REPORTED SYNDROME. WE DON'T KNOW IF THERE IS ANY RELATIONSHIP.

Hello- I took ibuprofen for a total of 8 days for tooth pain while I had dental work. I usually took anywhere from 200 to 600 mg per day, but one day I took 1000 mg over 24 hours. On the last day I took 200mg and I had some stomach pain so I stopped taking it. Its been not quite two days and I still have some indigestion.

I have not noticed any blood in my stool at all. Should I be very worried? Is the indigestion simply a side effect that will go away or should I be worried about a stomach ulcer? Thank you.

I took ibuprofen for about 7 days straight when I had my period. (TMI) sorry.
A day after when I stopped taking it I had really bad indigestion for the next few days. Along with other stomach issues. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to stuff like this. I just want to make sure I will be okay?

While using ibuprofen I experienced several occasions of visual disturbances and then an unexplained seizure. (no prior history) same thing happened to my daughter 6 months before. Doctors all say"impossible. No relationship." but no more ibuprofen and no more seizures or visual disturbances. Anybody with similar experiences?

I have osteoarthritis - have had 14 orthopedic surgeries - hands, wrists, both shoulders, three back surgeries, knee surgery, knee replacement - all so that I can continue to function. Many years ago I took 2400 mg of ibuprofen daily for several years (under the care of a great rheumatologist) and was able to function very well without any pain. Eventually, I stopped ibuprofen because my stomach was upset most of the time although I experienced no bleeding.

Ibuprofen is the only drug I've taken that helps with the joint pain, especially my back. About six months ago I started taking it again - about 1200 to 1400 mg daily and I am almost without pain most of the time. I am careful about always taking it in the middle of a meal. I hope I can continue.

Definitely make sure to take it with food, but other than that Ibuprofen works miracles for me. I fractured my elbow a few years back and instead of giving me pain meds, my doctor told me to take four ibuprofen, three times a day! Probably a lot, but did the trick...

I also took some motrin 800 while on my menstrual cycle now I have the worst indigestion I ever. I can't sleep because the pain is so bad. Should I consult my doctor?

Hello I recently had surgery 2 days ago for ligament replacement in my foot they have given me ibuprofen and co-codamol and ever since I have had quite bad indigestion and I haven't had a poo since before my my operation and I was wondering if this has anything to do with the medication I'm on or is it the anesthetic?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: CO-CODAMOL CONTAINS CODEINE, WHICH MIGHT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSTIPATION. IBUPROFEN CAN ALSO UPSET THE DIGESTIVE TRACT. PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

I took ibuprofen for 3 weeks then got diarrhea so stopped for 5 days, now am back on it again but am going to toilet, no.2's 4 times a day with the diarrhea. Should I stop or is this ok?

I had surgery on June and was told it was OK to take 600-800 mg Ibuprofen per day post op. I did this for 3 months and now I have an abnormal albumin (4.2) urine test. could this be from all of the Ibuprofen? and do I need to be concerned about my kidneys? What can I do to improve this?

Hi. Nice site here. I've been taking ibuprofen for pain 3-4 times a week for approx two years. Finally MRI revealed cervical bulges (two) and tendinopathy in right shoulder. Spine surgeon said to take 2,400 mg of motrin once a day (800 mg tabs 3x a day) for two weeks.

I'm concerned as I read more about how much I've been taking, what my actual problem is now that it's been diagnosed, and how much I've been told to take.
I have already a very sedentary lifestyle and job, but I'm only 45. Any input?

Thank you.

Using this in gel form on my right hand to relieve joint pain causes blood mottling (as if capillaries are broken.) Is this dangerous and should I stop using Ibuproven in this form?

For the first time I registered high blood pressure and I put it down to the Ibuprofen that I was given for shingles. Won't ever take it again. Blood pressure back to normal
now.

Hi I took one ibuprofen 800 mg. I asked my dr because I take high blood pressure medicine and because of a sprain ankle he prescribed that. All I took was one, has risen my blood pressure, and diarrhea, and stomach cramping. I didn't take any more. But how long does it takes to get out of my system and everything back to normal? Thanks

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.