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Why it's used

Ibuprofen is used to relieve mild to moderate pain from a headache, menstrual periods, muscle ache, common cold, toothache, or a backache. This medicine works by reducing the activity of a chemical in the body that causes pain and swelling. Ibuprofen is also used to reduce fever. It is also used to relieve pain associated with the inflammation, swelling and stiffness of the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
When not to use
Ibuprofen cannot be used to treat pain before and after the time of a heart operation.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Ibuprofen belongs to a class of medicines called Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called as NSAIDs, help reduce fever, decrease pain, and prevent clotting of blood. NSAIDs also reduce inflammation in the body when used in higher doses.

How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient guide, or medicine guide provided by the medicine company or your pharmacist before starting to use Ibuprofen. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medicine as recommended by your doctor.
Pain medicines work best if they are used as soon as you feel any signs of pain. Ibuprofen may not work well if you delay using it until the symptoms have worsened.
Ibuprofen is used with food. To prevent a stomach upset, take this medicine with food or milk.

Typical Dosage

The typical dose of Ibuprofen is 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours (not more than 3200 mg in one day). The maximum adult dose of Ibuprofen is 3200 mg in a day. This medicine is typically used for a period of 3 days for fever, and 10 days for pain. Ibuprofen is commonly used at the same time every day. It takes 1-2 hours for this medicine to start to work. This medicine is not known to be habit-forming.
This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. Ibuprofen may be recommended for long-term use in the treatment of symptoms of rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis.
If you are using the chewable tablet form of this medicine, make sure you chew the medicine before you swallow it.
If using the liquid form of this medicine, measure the dose using the provided measuring cup, spoon, or dropper. Before pouring the medicine into the measuring device, you should check the measurement markings carefully. Then, pour the dose amount into the device. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. You should not use a tablespoon or teaspoon as the dose measuring devices since it can result in an incorrect dose. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.

Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor if your condition persists or worsens or if you develop new symptoms.
A lower dose of this medicine may be recommended to reduce the risk of side-effects.

Use in Children

If you are giving Ibuprofen to a child, be sure to use a product that is meant for children. Before giving this medicine to a child, use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.

Avoid Alcohol

Avoid the consumption of alcohol with Ibuprofen.


You should store Ibuprofen at room temperature away from excess heat, away from moisture, and away from light. Store the medicine away from the reach of children and pets.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. Do not use Ibuprofen for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Ibuprofen to other people who might have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. Self-medication may harm them.
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How to take Ibuprofen

Your dose and how often you take Ibuprofen will depend on the following factors:
  • age
  • weight
  • patient's health
  • the health of the patient's liver
  • the health of the patient's kidneys
  • medicines recommended by the doctor
  • any other medicines being used
  • herbal supplements in use
  • response to the medicine

Ibuprofen Dosage

Dosage for painful swelling and stiffness of the joints

  • Recommended: 1200-3200 mg daily
  • Initial: 800 mg three times daily (2400 mg per day)
  • Maximum: 3200 mg per day

Dosage for swollen and stiffened joints

  • Recommended: 20 mg - 30 mg per kg / 9 mg - 14 mg per lb of body weight daily. Take this dose in 3-4 parts/day.
  • Maximum: 40 mg per kg / 18 mg per lb of body weight daily. Take this dose in 3-4 parts/day.

Dosage for painful menstrual periods

  • Recommended: 400 mg every 4 hours
Children (10-12 years)
  • Recommended: 200-800 mg every 4 to 6 hours
  • Maximum: 800 mg per day

Dosage for fever

  • Recommended: 200-400 mg every 4 to 6 hours
  • Maximum: 1200 mg per day
Children (over 12 years)
  • Recommended: 200-400 mg every 4 to 6 hours
  • Maximum: 1200 mg per day

Minimum Age

6 months

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.


Strength: 200 mg, 300 mg, 400 mg, 600 mg, 800 mg
Strength: 50 mg/1.25mL, 100 mg/5mL
Strength: 5 mg/1mL, 10 mg/1mL

Missed Dose

A missed dose should be taken as early as you remember it. However, if the time for the next dose is almost there, then the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be continued. Avoid taking a repeated dose to make up for a missed dose.


What to do if you overdose on Ibuprofen?
If you have taken more than the recommended dose of Ibuprofen, get medical advice immediately. If the overdose has happened within the last 1 hour, the toxic effect can be reduced by taking activated charcoal. Activated Charcoal is a form of carbon that has small and low-volume pores. These pores help trap chemicals as in the case of poisoning. In the case of adults, gastric lavage is used to minimize the toxic effect. Gastric lavage is the process of cleaning out the toxic substances of the stomach.
Symptoms of an overdose of Ibuprofen
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Ibuprofen, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at

Precautions while using Ibuprofen

Before you use Ibuprofen, tell your doctor of your medical and health history including the following:
Before you use Ibuprofen, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information.
Before having any surgery, discuss with your doctor and dentist about medicines you use including prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, and herbal supplements.
The use of Ibuprofen may change blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, the use of Ibuprofen may lead to an increase in your blood pressure. Hence, you should, monitor your blood pressure regularly.

Use when Pregnant

Ibuprofen should be used only when required in patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This medicine may harm an unborn baby by causing heart disease and high blood pressure. Ibuprofen belongs to the NSAID class of medicines. NSAIDs should not be taken after 29 weeks of pregnancy as these medicines may cause serious harm to the unborn baby.

If Breastfeeding

Consult with your doctor on the use of Ibuprofen during breastfeeding. This medicine is found in breast milk but is not in a significant amount to cause any harm to the baby. However, if you use Ibuprofen for the long-term, you should consider not breastfeeding your baby.

If trying to Conceive

Ibuprofen may impact fertility in women. If you are trying to conceive, discuss with your doctor on the use of this medicine. The use of Ibuprofen may reduce fertility in women trying to have a baby. Do not use Ibuprofen in women who are having problems with having a baby. In women trying to conceive or in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, a low dose of Ibuprofen should be used for a short time.


Avoid drinking alcohol with Ibuprofen. Consumption of alcohol may cause may increase the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding.


Ibuprofen can make you feel sleepy. Be careful, especially while driving, while using heavy machinery, or when doing any activity that needs you to be completely alert. The consumption of alcohol with Ibuprofen can worsen the sleepiness.

Increase in Risk

This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Regular use of tobacco or alcohol may increase the risk. Discuss with your doctor if you smoke and drink alcohol regularly. Ibuprofen should not be used in chickenpox as it increases the risk of infection. It may lead to increased risk of getting viral infections and meningitis in patients who have certain existing autoimmune disorders. This medicine may increase your sensitivity to sunlight and make you prone to sunburn. If this happens, limit your time outdoors to prevent sunburn. Use a sunscreen and cover your skin.

Side-effects in Older Patients

Older patients may have a higher incidence of side-effects when using Ibuprofen. Elderly patients may see an increased risk of bleeding of the stomach and intestines, and rupture in the lining of the stomach or intestines.

Long-term Use

Long-term treatment increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, ulcers, and bleeding of the stomach and intestines.

Ibuprofen Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Ibuprofen. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
Rarely, the use of Ibuprofen may cause the following side-effects:
  • abnormal liver function
  • abnormally low white blood cell count
  • anxiety
  • body stops producing enough new blood cells (aplastic anaemia)
  • deficiency of platelets in the blood
  • difficulty in breathing
  • excess production of protein in the urine
  • hemolytic anemia
  • inflammation of the lining of the stomach
  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • insomnia
  • jaundice
  • kidney failure
  • mouth ulcer
  • partially or completely loss of hearing
  • poor functioning of the kidneys
  • red or purple discolored spots on the skin
  • rupture in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract
  • sensitivity to the sun
  • severe itching of the skin
  • skin rashes with red, itchy and raised bumps
  • sore in the lining of the duodenum
  • swelling of the lower layer of skin
  • viral infection of the nose and throat
  • vision loss
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Ibuprofen:
  • Heart disease and stroke (possibly fatal)
  • Skin reactions such as serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) and redness of the skin (possibly fatal)
    The medicine should be discontinued.
  • Issues with the liver such as jaundice, inflammation of the liver, and loss of liver function (possibly fatal)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (possibly fatal)
    Symptoms: inflammation, bleeding, ulceration and rupture in the lining of the stomach, small intestine or large intestine
Your doctor has prescribed this Ibuprofen because they have judged that the benefits outweigh the risks posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This is not a complete list of possible side-effects for Ibuprofen.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at


Elderly Patients

Elderly patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine increases the risk of stomach bleeding and rupture in the lining of the stomach or intestine in elderly patients. Special care should be taken in older patients with age greater than 65 years.

Advanced Stage Kidney Disease

Patients with advanced kidney disease are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine should not be used in patients with an advanced kidney disease.

Poor Functioning of the Kidneys

Patients with kidney related health issues are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine may reduce production of certain hormones and reduce the blood flow in kidneys.

Ulcers or Bleeding in Stomach

Patients with a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding in the stomach and intestines are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine should be started with the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration.

Fluid Retention and Heart Failure

Patients who retain water/fluid in their body or have a risk of heart failure are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine should be used with precaution in patients with heart failure or fluid retention.

High Blood Pressure

Patients with high blood pressure are at an increased risk when using this medicine. Such patients may have an increased incidence of heart diseases. Blood pressure should be monitored closely when taking this medicine.

Interactions with Ibuprofen

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Ibuprofen. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. This medicine reduces the blood pressure lowering effect of ACE inhibitors.


Ibuprofen interacts with furosemide and bumetanide, which increases the production of urine. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of kidney damage.

Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

There may be an interaction of Ibuprofen with aspirin, which is used to reduce fever and relieve mild to moderate pain. Taking Ibuprofen along with aspirin increases the risk of stomach and intestine related health issues. Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to any NSAID medicines or Aspirin.

Anti-Progestational Drugs

Ibuprofen may interact with mifepristone, which is a medicine used for abortion in early stages of pregnancy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen reduce the effects of mifepristone. Do not take Ibuprofen for at least 8-12 days after taking mifepristone.


Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with corticosteroids which provide relief to the inflamed areas of the body. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Cardiac Glycosides

Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with cardiac glycosides, which are medicines used in the treatment of heart failure and rapid heart rate. The combined usage of these medicines may worsen the cardiac failure condition and reduce functioning of the kidneys.


Ibuprofen interacts with sulfonylureas, which are medicines used to treat high blood sugar (type 2 diabetes). This medicine may increase the effect of sulfonylureas.


Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with tacrolimus, which is a medicine used to prevent the rejection of certain transplanted organs. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of kidney damage.


There may be an interaction of Ibuprofen with warfarin which is used to prevent blood clotting. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.


Ibuprofen may interact with methotrexate, which is a medicine used to treat cancer and painful swelling/stiffness of the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine may increase the harmful effects of methotrexate. Patients should take necessary precautions when taking both medicines together.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Ibuprofen is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.

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