Ibuprofen - Use | Overdose | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

This medicine relieves pain and fever.

Ibuprofen is used to relieve pain and inflammation in following conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatism ("frozen" shoulder, tendinitis and bursitis)

It is also effective for pain relief in following conditions:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful sprains and strains
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Headaches (including migraine)
  • Tooth ache


Before you start using this medicine, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, if you have a chronic disease, a metabolism disorder or if you are allergic to ibuprofen or similar medicines.

It should be avoided in following conditions:

  • If you are allergic to ibuprofen or similar medicines, such as:
    • diclofenac,
    • ketoprofen,
    • flurbiprofen or aspirin. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy, such as: hives, swelling of the tongue or difficulty breathing, call your doctor immediately.
  • Stomach or duodenal ulcers.
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Asthma. This medicine may lead to the narrowing of the bronchi (bronchospasm) and thus lead to an exacerbation of asthma.
  • Liver damage
  • High blood pressure.
  • Bleeding disorders.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus.

Long-term use of the high dose Ibuprofen (6 tablets per day) may increase the risk of arterial thrombosis (e.g. heart attack and stroke).

It should be avoided in woman trying to get pregnant.

Taking Ibuprofen with food and beverages

Use of Ibuprofen with alcohol is not recommended, because concomitant use increase the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

Use of Ibuprofen during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Before you start taking any medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

It should not be used during pregnancy, unless your doctor decides it is necessary.

Ibuprofen should not be taken during the last 3 months of pregnancy because of the risk of congenital abnormalities.

It should not be taken by a nursing mother.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Ibuprofen should be avoided in combination with following medicines:

  • Medicines used to treat high blood pressure, such as: beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics. Concomitant use of Ibuprofen with these medicines decreases effectiveness of anti-hypertensive medications.
  • Mifepristone (the abortion pill).
  • Cardiac glycosides, such as: digoxin. Concomitant use of Ibuprofen with this medicine increases the concentration of digoxin in the blood, thus increasing risk of side effects.
  • Other non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Corticosteroids. Concomitant use of Ibuprofen with these medicines increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Anticoagulants (known as blood thinners).
  • Medicines used to treat depression.
  • Medicines used to treat diabetes. Concomitant use of Ibuprofen with these medicines, increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Probenecid (medicine used to treat gout).
  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g. ciprofloxacin). Concomitant use of Ibuprofen with these medicines can lead to convulsions.
  • Ginkgo biloba. Concomitant use increase the risk of bleeding.

Medicines use

The usual dose for adults is 600 - 1800 mg per day. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water

Maximum daily dose is 2400 mg.

It can be take 3-4 times a day.

The usual dose in children is 5-20 mg/kg body weight.

In children under the age of 12 it is recommended to use Ibuprofen syrup.

Always consult your doctor about the dose you should use


The most common Ibuprofen overdose symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, dizziness and drowsiness.

Side effects

Ibuprofen may cause following side effects:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding in the stomach (vomiting blood or black stools)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Itching of the skin
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluid retention in the body (swollen ankles)
  • Low white blood cell count (leukopenia)
  • Low platelet count
  • Anemia
  • Kidney damage.
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Perception of ringing in the ears
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion.

If you are experiencing any of these side effects, call your doctor immediately.

Brand names: Advil, Genpril, IBU, Midol, Motrin and Nuprin.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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