Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drug used to reduce fever and treat pain or inflammation caused by many ailments such as arthritis, headache, toothache, backache, menstrual cramps or minor injuries. Get to know how Ibuprofen works, its side effects, precautions, and contraindications where Ibuprofen is not suggested.
How does Ibuprofen work?
It works by blocking cyclooxygenase, which is an enzyme that produces prostaglandins—these are chemicals produced by the body during an inflammatory response, and they are responsible for causing pain and inflammation. The effect of Ibuprofen can be observed in 30 to 60 minutes and effect lasts for an average duration of 4 to 6 hours.
Ibuprofen is used to treat symptoms like joint stiffness, painful joints of the knee, hip, neck, lower back associated with Osteoarthritis.
Ibuprofen is used to treat symptoms like joint stiffness, pain, and swelling associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Ibuprofen is used to treat pain and cramps during menstruation.
Fever and Pain
Ibuprofen is used to treat headache, backache, and fever.
Ibuprofen also used in:
- Sprains of muscles and joints
- Mild to moderate pain in cases like kidney stones and gallstones
- Polymyositis (inflammation of muscles)
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain
- Dental pain
Avoid if you have allergy to Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs
Ibuprofen is contraindicated if you are diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory complications.
If you are suffering from any bleeding disorder Ibuprofen is not recommended for you. It could cause severe swelling and bleed in the intestines, stomach, and anus.
Usual Adult Dose for:
- Dysmenorrhea-200 to 400 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day (prescription strength); 1200 mg/day (over-the-counter)
- Osteoarthritis-1200 to 3200 mg orally per day in divided doses
Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day
- Rheumatoid Arthritis– Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may require higher doses than those with osteoarthritis.
Usual Adult Dose for Pain:
– 400 to 800 mg IV every 6 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day.
– 200 to 400 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day (prescription strength); 1200 mg/day (over-the-counter)I
– Oral doses greater than 400 mg have not been shown to be any more effective than the 400 mg dose.
Use: For the relief of mild to moderate pain
Usual Adult Dose for Fever:
– Initial dose: 400 mg IV once
– Following initial dose, 100, 200, or 400 mg IV every 4 to 6 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day
– Initial dose: 200 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours
– May increase to 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours if additional relief is needed
– Maximum dose: 1200 mg/day
Use: For the reduction of fever
Usual Paediatric Dose for Fever
6 months to less than 12 years: 10 mg/kg IV every 4 to 6 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: Single dose: 400 mg; Daily dose: 40 mg/kg or 2400 mg/day, whichever is less
12 to 17 years: 400 mg IV every 4 to 6 hours as needed
-Maximum dose: 2400 mg/day
– Patients should be well hydrated prior to infusion to reduce the risk of renal adverse events.
– Doses should be infused over at least 10 minutes.
Oral Suspension (Infant drops: 50 mg/1.25 mL):
6 to 11 months; 12 to 17 pounds: 50 mg (1.25 mL) every 6 to 8 hours as needed
12 to 23 months; 18 to 23 pounds: 75 mg (1.875 mL) orally every 6 to 8 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 4 doses per day
Oral Suspension (100 mg/5 mL):
6 months to 2 years:
– Baseline temperature less than 102.5F (39.2C): 5 mg/kg orally every 6 to 8 hours
– Baseline temperature 102.5F (39.2C) or greater: 10 mg/kg orally every 6 to 8 hours
– Maximum dose: 40 mg/kg/day
2 to 11 years: 5 to 10 mg/kg orally every 6 to 8 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 40 mg/kg/day or 4 doses per day
Oral Chewable Tablets:
2 to 11 years: 5 to 10 mg/kg every 6 to 8 hours as needed
– Maximum dose: 40 mg/kg/day or 4 doses per day
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Ibuprofen side effects
- The most common ibuprofen side effects are abdominal pain, rash, ringing in ears, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn and constipation.
- Serious ibuprofen side effects is ulceration of the stomach or intestine, and the ulcers may bleed
- Allergic reactions (especially in people who have asthma)
- Reduction of blood flow to the kidneys and impaired function of the kidneys
Doctor’s advice for Ibuprofen Tablet
- Ibuprofen is a very safe and well-tolerated medicine for short-term use
- Consuming high dose or taking long time Ibuprofen can cause kidney problems and stomach bleeding
- If you are suffering from kidney disease, inform your doctor first. Your dose may need to be adjusted
- When you are taking Ibuprofen, avoid excess intake of alcohol, together they can affect your liver
- If you have taken overdoses, immediately inform your doctor or contact a hospital emergency and you are feeling unwell
Taking more than prescribed Ibuprofen may cause harmful side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you find any side effects.
If you miss the dosage take as soon as possible, and if it is near to next dose, skip the missing dosage continue the regular dosage. Do not take extra doses.
In last trimester of pregnancy it is suggested to avoid Ibuprofen because it causes premature closure of the Ductus Arteriosus. It is not known to cause any harm to the foetus, but should only be used after consultation with your doctor.
Ibuprofen is safe to use during breastfeeding. Before taking this medicine consult your doctor.
Precautions before taking Ibuprofen tablet
Some medications are not suitable for people with certain ailments, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking Ibuprofen, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have stomach ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you have high blood pressure
- If you have a heart condition or a problem with your circulation or blood vessels
- If you have any blood clotting problems
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medicines (such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, indomethacin), or to any other NSAIDs.
- If you have problems with the way your kidneys work or problems with the way your liver works
Substitutes for Ibuprofen Tablet
Below is the list of tablets, which have the same composition, strength, and form as Ibuprofen tablet, and hence can be used as its substitute:
- Motrin IB
- Profen IB
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Dr. Divya has been pursuing Dentistry for about 5 years now. Endodontics and Orthodontics are her areas of interest and she holds a BDS degree from Govt. Dental College, Vijayawada, AP. Besides pursuing her career as a Dentist, she is passionate about Technical writing and is spending her free time in writing medical articles to bring awareness and share medical knowledge to the public.