What Is Ibuprofen And Which Are The Ibuprofen Side Effects

ibuprofen side effectsWhat Is Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a derivative of the propanoic acid, used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug. It’s commercialized all over the world under various trademark names, the most popular ones being Nuprin, Motrin, Advil or Nurofen.

Ibuprofen is usually prescribed to alleviate fever, menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea), to diminish and control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and of course, it’s prescribed on a large scale as a pain reliever. Medication with ibuprofen is also often prescribed for patent ductus arteriosus (a congenital heart disorder) and pericarditis. However, although in many countries this is an over-the-counter drug, there are certain ibuprofen side effects that everyone should avoid, and that’s why it’s important to seek the advice of a physician before taking this drug.

Ibuprofen Side Effects

Mild Side Effects

Just like any other drug, ibuprofen may have various side effects depending on the patient. There are mild or severe ibuprofen side effects. Needless to say, the most common are the mild side effects of ibuprofen. Most of them are gastrointestinal problems like stomach pain, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, dyspepsia, heartburn, nausea.

Other ibuprofen side effects of mild nature are: dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, tinnitus, mood changes. There were also rare cases of patients reporting photosensitivity while under medication with ibuprofen. Even if ibuprofen is a pain reliever, and many people take this drug to relieve headaches, it may sometimes cause a headache.

Lastly, ibuprofen may cause certain sexual dysfunctions, like priapism (painful erections) or erectile dysfunctions.

Severe Side Effects

One of the most important ibuprofen side effects is its vasoconstricting role. This being said, if you’re a patient with high blood pressure, it’s best not to take this drug, or ask for the advice or a physician before taking it. In patients with a chronic use of ibuprofen, this drug elevates the risk of a heart attack.

Ibuprofen is a platelet effect reductor, which is useful for patients that have a history with stroke, or blood clothing problems. However, the antiplatelet effect of this drug may lead to nose bleeds or even worse, gastrointestinal bleeding.

Other severe ibuprofen side effects are: heart failure, increased level of liver enzymes, high blood level of potassium, renal impairment, bronchospasm. These ibuprofen adverse effects are however, infrequent.

Ibuprofen also increaseas the risk of miscarriage.

Just like any other drug, some patients may develop an allergic reaction to ibuprofen. This may include: skin rashes, skin itchiness, facial edema, swelling of the tongue, mouth or lips and in worst cases anaphilaxis.


In general, ibuprofen is commercialized in form of tablets. The maximum over-the-counter dosage for adult patients it 1200 mg of ibuprofen per day. However, under medical supervision, and also depending on the weight of a patient, higher doses, up to 3200 mg per day can be administered.

For athletes that experience muscle or joint pain, ibuprofen can be prescribed as gel as it’s easier absorbed through the skin, having a great local effect, with minimal risks of gastrointestinal ibuprofen side effects.

It’s really important to seek immediate medical attention in case of a severe nose bleed, blood in your vomit, dark stools or blood in your stools, shortness of breath or severe asthma attacks, or an allergic reaction after medication with ibuprofen.

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