Ibuprofen is a pain reliever used primarily for arthritis.
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
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.
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.
serious interactions may occur with ibuprofen reducing the effectiveness of ACE
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beta-blocker blood pressure drugs like href="http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2000/04/01/nadolol/">Corgard,
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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.
Check with your pharmacist and physician to
make sure ibuprofen is safe in combination with any other drugs or herbs you
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.