What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is used to relieve pain from various conditions such a headache, menstrual cramps, dental pain, muscle aches, and arthritis. It is also used in the reduction of fever and for the relief of minor aches and pain caused by the common cold or the flu.
How does Ibuprofen work?
Ibuprofen works by blocking the production in your body of the natural substances that result in inflammation. This effect of the medication helps to decrease pain, fever, and swelling.
What are the benefits of taking Ibuprofen?
The benefit of taking Ibuprofen is the reduction of the swelling, pain, and fever it provides to the individual who takes it.
How do I use Ibuprofen?
If you are taking Ibuprofen as an over-the-counter product, read the directions on the product package before you start taking it. If the use of Ibuprofen is prescribed by your doctor, read the medication guide provided by the pharmacist before you start taking the medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about Ibuprofen.
Take Ibuprofen by mouth usually every 4 to 6 hours with a full glass of water except when your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down within ten minutes after taking the medication. If taking this drug will cause you stomach upset, take Ibuprofen with a meal, a glass of milk, or an antacid.
Your doctor has prescribed this medication based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment. Start taking this medication at the lowest possible dose in order to reduce the risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than what is directed by your doctor or by the package label. For medical conditions such as arthritis, take this medication as directed by your doctor.
When used by children, Ibuprofen’s dose is based on the child’s body weight. Read the package direction to determine the proper dose for your children based on his or her weight.
For some medical conditions such as arthritis, Ibuprofen’s full benefit may be felt after two weeks. If you are taking Ibuprofen as needed, take it as the first signs of pain occur. Waiting too long may worsen the pain and the medication may not work as well.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you feel you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away. If you are taking the nonprescription Ibuprofen, consult your doctor immediately if your fever worsens or lasts more than 3 days, or if your pain worsens or lasts more than 10 days.
The usual dose of Ibuprofen for adults is one tablet every four to six hours or as prescribed by your doctor. The dose for children will be based on the child’s body weight.
Side effects & precautions
Your doctor has prescribed Ibuprofen because he is convinced that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people who used this medication did not experience any serious side effects.
The common side effects of using Ibuprofen include nausea, stomach upset, headache, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, drowsiness or dizziness. Inform your doctor immediately if any of these side effects will persist or worsen.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly when you are taking Ibuprofen and report to your doctor if the readings are high.
Inform your doctor immediately if you have any serious side effects, including:
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Mental or mood changes
- Hearing changes
- Signs of kidney problems
- Unexplained stiff neck
- Vision changes
- Symptoms of a heart failure
This drug may rarely cause liver disease. Get medical help immediately when you observe symptoms of liver damage such as dark urine, loss of appetite, persistent nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the eyes or skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to Ibuprofen is rare. Get immediate medical help if you notice any of the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as rash, itching or swelling of the face/tongue/throat, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
Notify your doctor if you experience any other side effect that you believe is associated with your use of Ibuprofen.
Before taking Ibuprofen, inform your doctor if you are allergic to the medication or other NSAIDs, or if you have other forms of allergy. Ibuprofen may have some inactive ingredients that could trigger allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your doctor or pharmacists for more details about the subject.
Inform your doctor about your medical history before you start taking Ibuprofen.
Kidney problems may sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications such as Ibuprofen. The problems are likely to occur if you have a heart or kidney disease, you are dehydrated, you are an older adult, or if you take certain medications. You can prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. Report to your doctor immediately if you have a change in the amount of urine.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Ibuprofen before undergoing any surgical procedure. Do not drive a vehicle, operate machinery, or do anything that requires alertness until you are sure that you can do the job safely. Report to your doctor if you are using marijuana.
Ibuprofen may cause stomach bleeding. Your risk for stomach bleeding may increase with daily use of alcohol and tobacco. Limit alcohol and stop smoking.
Ibuprofen may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Make sure to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when going outdoors.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of Ibuprofen, especially kidney problems, stomach or intestinal bleeding, and worsening heart problems.