Ibuprofen Side Effects

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and was first marketed as Brufen in the United Kingdom in 1969 and in the United States in 1974. This medication works by decreasing hormones that causepain, inflammation, and swelling in the body. [1, 2, 3, 4]


Ibuprofen is available in capsules and tablets and also in combination with other drugs sold over-the-counter (OTC) for cold, migraine, and cough. It is also sold under other brand names including:

  • Motrin
  • Ibuprin
  • Advil
  • Brufen
  • Midol
  • NeoProfen
  • Ibu
  • Nurofen
  • Caldolor
  • Proprinal
  • Medipren
  • Nuprin

Uses of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is used in children who are 6 months old and older and in adults. This medication is used to relieve inflammation, pain or swelling in conditions such as:[1, 2, 3, 4]

  • Dental pain
  • Headaches
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscle aches or pain
  • Back pain
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Minor injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ibuprofen may also be used for pericarditis and pain from kidney stones.
  • To reduce pain after surgery
  • It’s also used in reducing pain caused by flu or the common cold.
  • Ibuprofen may also be used to close a patent ductus arteriosus in a premature baby.

Ibuprofen Dosage Information

ibuprofen Side effects

An average dosage guideline for taking ibuprofen include: [3, 5]

  • For adults with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, the starting dose is 400-800mg every 6-8 hours and may be increased depending on the patient’s tolerance and reaction to treatment to a maximum dose of 3200mg.
  • For pain and fever in adults, the starting dose is 200-400mg every 4-6 hours.
  • For infants and children, the starting dose is 4-10mg every 6-8 hours depending on their weight and condition. The maximum recommended dose is 30-40mg.
  • For children with rheumatoid arthritis, the starting dose is 30-40mg daily divided into 3-4 doses.

Ibuprofen Side Effects

In as much as a medication is effective it also comes with undesired effects. Some of these ibuprofen side effects may not occur, some may need medical attention if they occur and some may subside as the body adjusts to the medication. Report to your doctor if the following common side effects become troublesome or persist:[2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9]

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Mild itching or rash
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Mild heartburn
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Nervousness
  • Pale skin
  • Rattling breathing
  • Weight gain
  • Sore throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Hearing loss
  • Paranoia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Belching

Allergic reactions

Ibuprofen may cause some serious side effects. Some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions including hives, breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and swelling of the hands, face, throat or tongue. If you notice any sign of an allergic reaction, inform your doctor immediately. Serious side effects include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Kidney damage
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Liver failure or inflammation of the liver
  • Low red blood cell count
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Changes in vision
  • Full feeling
  • Trouble speaking
  • Black or bloody, tarry stools
  • Dark brown urine
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Sudden numbness of the arm, face, or leg
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Stiff neck or back
  • Red spots on the skin
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Unexplained swelling or weight gain
  • A sudden or severe headache

Overdose Side Effects

People are likely to overdose on ibuprofen and not experience any serious complications. However, higher doses of ibuprofen can cause undesired side effects. In the case that you experience adverse effects or any unusual effect, consult with your doctor or health care giver. Overdose side effects include:

  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Muscle tremors
  • Sweating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bluish skin or lips
  • Restlessness
  • Sudden fainting
  • Hallucination
  • Disorientation
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Irregular or slow heartbeat
  • Drowsiness to profound coma
  • Dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying position abruptly
  • Mental or other mood changes
  • Rapid, deep breathing
  • A higher dose of ibuprofen exceeding 3200mg daily may cause neurological symptoms including coma, extreme feeling of fatigue, mental confusion and altered states of consciousness.
  • Taking high doses of ibuprofen for a long period of time may increase the risk of stroke when the supply of blood to the brain is disturbed or heart attack when the supply of blood to the heart is blocked.
  • A few cases of ibuprofen overdose have caused seizures.

Withdrawal Side Effects

Using ibuprofen for a prolonged period of time makes the body dependent on it. If a person abruptly withdraws from the drug they may experience some side effects which may not be severe. Common withdrawal side effects of ibuprofen include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated body pain
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Stiff muscles
  • Shivering even when it is not cold
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Headache
  • Abnormal skin sensations
  • Muscle aches
  • Teary eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Yawning
  • Sleeping troubles

Long-term Side Effects

Some adverse side effects may occur after long-term use of ibuprofen. These adverse but rare side effects include:

  • Ibuprofen being a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can cause an increase in the risk of having serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke. Therefore, ibuprofen should be used carefully in patients with known cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • This drug may also increase chances of having serious gastrointestinal (GI) events such as ulceration, perforation of the stomach or intestines and bleeding which can be fatal. Patients with a history of peptic ulcer disease and gastrointestinal and senior adults are at a higher risk of having serious GI bleeding.
  • Ibuprofen may cause an increase in blood pressure even in people who have no history of blood pressure issues. It’s important to discuss with your doctor if you have high blood pressure to weigh in the benefits of this drug before using it.
  • Prolonged use of drugs or products containing ibuprofen may increase the chances of developing decreased kidney function especially in people who already have kidney problems and are taking specific medications for it like angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.
  • Long-term use of ibuprofen may also cause a decrease in liver function or make an already existing liver disease worse. You doctor should monitor weigh in the benefits of this drug to your condition and monitor your liver function to ensure it doesn’t cause any problems.
  • Ibuprofen may increase the risk of having aseptic meningitis and people with an autoimmune disease including lupus are at higher risk of developing signs of aseptic meningitis.

Reference List

  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibuprofen
  2. https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/ibuprofen
  3. https://www.drugs.com/ibuprofen.html
  4. www.healthline.com/drugs/ibuprofen/oral-tablet#Highlights1
  5. www.m.pdr.net/Mobile/Pages/drug-summary/Ibuprofen-Tablets-ibuprofen-2618
  6. www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/ibuprofen-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20070602
  7. https://rehab.international/ibuprofen-detox-abuse-treatment-recovery-withdrawal-symptoms-and-effects
  8. www.livestrong.com/article/34435-ibuprofen-overdose-symptoms/
  9. Ibuprofen side effects available atwww.caldolor.com/safety/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *