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

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.
people appear to be more susceptible to this problem and should be monitored

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

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.

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

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 href="http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2000/04/01/ramipril/">Altace,
or Vasotec,
beta-blocker blood pressure drugs like href="http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2000/04/01/nadolol/">Corgard,
Inderal LA
or Tenormin,
and diuretics such as Bumex, Dyazide, href="http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2000/04/01/furosemide/">Lasix
or Maxzide.

Hemorrhage with the combination of href="http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2005/10/18/ginkgo/">ginko
and aspirin has been reported. We advise against combining arthritis medicines
such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) with ginkgo biloba extract.

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

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

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.

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  1. Faith

    I’ve been taking 800mg ibuprofen for several years and I noticed that I was very irritable and I had terrible headaches/migraines almost once a week. I would also get very dizzy and very sweaty. I’m pretty sure I somehow became intolerant. I’ve been off of it for about 3 months and even though I’m in pain still, I feel like I’m my old self again.

  2. Joyce
    essex county

    I had a hip replaced 6 weeks ago. I was on a blood thinner injection for five weeks after that. Now that I’m finished with the blood thinner, can I take advil?

  3. OR

    I have terrible toothaches that have been causing headaches. I’ve been taking Advil 200mg, I bought a bottle of 100 capsules. It’s been about 4 weeks now, I’ve taken between 3-4 pills daily, I have about 7 pills remaining. This morning I woke up to feeling like I was going to throw up. This is the first time I had that feeling while of the medication. Should I be concerned?

    • The People's Pharmacy

      This dose of ibuprofen is too high to take indefinitely. It is time to check in with the dentist and the doctor.

  4. Diane

    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

  5. BB

    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

  6. Jmason

    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?

  7. Mary

    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.

  8. christy

    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?

  9. bev

    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?

  10. hayley

    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?

  11. Dymond

    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?

  12. Marcus

    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…

  13. GGmaw

    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.

  14. Crg

    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?

  15. Victoria

    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?

  16. TG

    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.

  17. JOANN S

    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.

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