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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 medication works by reducing the activity of a body chemical (prostaglandin) that causes pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen is also used to reduce fever. It is also used to relieve pain and tenderness associated with the swelling and stiffness of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis). Ibuprofen is also used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness associated with the breakdown of the lining of the joints (osteoarthritis).
When not to use
Ibuprofen cannot be used to treat pain before and after the time of a heart operation (coronary artery bypass graft surgery).
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Ibuprofen belongs to a class of medicines called Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. A class of medicines is often used to treat similar conditions and medications from the same class work in a similar way. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce fever, decrease pain, prevent clotting of blood, and reduce inflammation (when used in higher doses).

How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient information leaflet, or medication guide provided by the manufacturer/pharmacist before starting to use Ibuprofen. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medicine as per the prescription.
Ibuprofen is used with food. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food or milk. The typical dosage of Ibuprofen is 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours (not more than 3200 mg in one day).
The maximum adult dosage 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. It takes 1-2 hours after use for this medicine to start to work. This medicine is not known to be habit-forming.
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 dosage from the product package. If the product package does not provide specific information as to how the medication can be given to children, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.
Pain medications 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.
Talk to your doctor if your condition persists or worsens or if you develop new symptoms.
The dosage of Ibuprofen depends on the patient's age, patient's weight, medical condition(s), the health of the patient's liver, the state of kidneys, prescription medicines in use, non-prescription or OTC medicines in use, herbal supplements consumed, and response to treatment. This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. Ibuprofen may be prescribed for long-term use in the treatment of symptoms of chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.). This medicine is typically used at the same time every day.
When using the chewable tablet form of this medicine, make sure your chew the medicine before you swallow it.
When 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 prescribed dosage amount into the device. Using a tablespoon as a measuring device can result in incorrect dosage. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.
A lower dosage of this medicine may be recommended to reduce the risk of side effects.
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.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in a medication 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.

How to take Ibuprofen

Your dosage and how often you take Ibuprofen will depend on the following factors:
  • age
  • weight
  • medical condition(s)
  • the health of the patient's liver
  • the health of the patient's kidneys
  • other prescription medicines being used
  • other non-prescription or OTC medicines being used
  • herbal supplements in use
  • response to the medicine

Ibuprofen Dosage

Dosage for painful swelling and stiffness of the joints

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

Dosage for painful swelling and stiffness of the joints in juveniles

Pediatric
  • Recommended: 20 mg-30 mg per kg / 9 mg-14 mg per lb of body weight daily in 3-4 divided doses
  • Maximum: 40 mg per kg / 18 mg per lb of body weight daily in 3-4 divided doses

Dosage for painful menstrual periods

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

Dosage for fever

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

Minimum Age

6 months

Overdose

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 drug in your body. In such cases, symptoms of overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Ibuprofen, call a poison control center immediately. If residing in the US, call at 1-800-222-1222. For all the other countries, you can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at TabletWise.com.

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.

Forms

Tablet
Strength: 200, 300, 400, 600, and 800 mg

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Ibuprofen is unlikely to produce a side-effect. However, please discuss with your primary health provider 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. If you have a chronic illness that requires taking medicine constantly such as heart condition, seizures, and life-threatening allergies, you are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medications.

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 periodically 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.

Precautions while using Ibuprofen

Tell your doctor of your medical history including high blood pressure (hypertension), excess fluid build-up inside the body (edema), ulcer disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, or difficulty in breathing (bronchial asthma), before you use Ibuprofen. Before having any surgery, discuss with your doctor and dentist about medicines you use including prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Ibuprofen before you use it.
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 (premature closure of the foetal ductus arteriosus and pulmonary hypertension). Consult with your doctor on the use of Ibuprofen during nursing/breastfeeding. This medication is secreted in breast milk but is not significant to cause any harm to the baby. However, early weaning is recommended if you use Ibuprofen for the long-term. 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 conceive. Do not use Ibuprofen in women having problems in conceiving or who are undergoing an investigation of infertility. In certain cases (first and second trimester of pregnancy or women trying to conceive), a low dose should be prescribed for a shorter duration of treatment.
Avoid drinking alcohol with Ibuprofen. Consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Your blood pressure may be impacted by the use of Ibuprofen. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), the use of Ibuprofen may lead to an increase in your blood pressure. Hence, you should, monitor your blood pressure regularly.
Ibuprofen can make you feel drowsy/sleepy or dizzy. 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 can worsen the drowsiness or dizziness.
This medicine may cause stomach/gastrointestinal bleeding. Regular use of tobacco and alcohol may increase your risk. Discuss with your doctor if you smoke and drink alcohol regularly. Ibuprofen may increase your risk of infection if you suffer from chickenpox (varicella infection) and hence must not be used in this condition. In other cases, the use of NSAIDs may mask infections. Your risk of getting viral infections (rhinitis) and meningitis (aseptic), especially in patients with existing autoimmune disorders (such as systemic lupus erythematosus and mixed connective tissue disease). This medication may increase your sensitivity to sunlight and make you prone to sunburn. Limit your time outdoors. Use a sunscreen and cover your skin when you are outdoors. Consult with your doctor if you have sunburns/blisters on your body.
Geriatric patients may have higher incidence of side-effects when using Ibuprofen. Elderly (geriatric) patients may see an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and rupture (perforation) in the lining of the stomach or intestine.
Long-term treatment increases the risk of heart attack, blockage of the blood flow to the brain (stroke), ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Ibuprofen Side-effects

Difficulty in emptying the bowels (constipation), loose stools (diarrhea), gas in the stomach (flatulence), feeling of tiredness (fatigue), skin rashes, pain or uncomfortable feeling in the stomach (dyspepsia), headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark sticky stools with blood (melaena), vomiting of blood (haematemesis), and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal haemorrhage) may occur with Ibuprofen. If any of these symptoms worsen or last for a long time, inform your doctor (or pharmacist) promptly.
Rarely or infrequently, viral infection of the nose and throat (rhinitis), deficiency of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia), abnormally low white blood cell count (agranulocytosis), body stops producing enough new blood cells (aplastic anaemia), destroyed red blood cells hemolytic anemia), difficulty falling asleep (insomnia), nervousness (anxiety), vision loss, partially or completely loss of hearing, difficulty in breathing (bronchospasm), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), sore in the lining of the duodenum (duodenal ulcer), mouth ulcer, rupture in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal perforation), inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), yellow discoloration of the skin (jaundice), abnormal hepatic function, skin rashes with red, itchy and raised bumps (urticaria), severe itching of the skin (pruritus), red or purple discolored spots on the skin (purpura), swelling of the lower layer of skin (angioedema), sensitivity to the sun (photosensitivity reaction), decreased renal function (tubulointerstitial nephritis), body producing too much protein in the urine (nephrotic syndrome), and kidney (renal) failure may occur with the use of Ibuprofen.
Using Ibuprofen may cause (possibly fatal) hepatic effects such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), inflammation of the liver (fulminant hepatitis), loss of liver function (liver necrosis). The symptoms may include an abnormality in the function of the liver (liver dysfunction).
The use of Ibuprofen may cause a possibly fatal side-effect. Ibuprofen may cause a gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms of the side-effect may include inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract, and rupture (perforation) 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 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 TabletWise.com.

Warnings

Patients with high blood pressure

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

Patients with fluid retention or heart failure

Patients with fluid retention or 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.

Patients with a history of stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding

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

Patients with abnormal kidney function

Patients with abnormal kidney (renal) function are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine may reduce hormone (prostaglandin) production and renal blood flow.

Patients with advanced kidney disease

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

Elderly patients

Elderly patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and rupture (perforation) in the lining of the stomach or intestine in elderly patients. Special care should be taken in geriatric patients.

Interactions with Ibuprofen

Interactions change the working of medicines and can also increase the risk of side effects or adverse reactions. Provide your doctor and pharmacist with a list of all prescription/nonprescription/herbal medicine that you use. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without consulting with your doctor. This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Ibuprofen.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medication along with Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are used for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. This medicine reduces the blood pressure lowering effect (antihypertensive effect) of ACE inhibitors.
Ibuprofen interacts with diuretics, which increases the production of urine. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of toxicity in the kidney (nephrotoxicity).
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 toxicity in the gastrointestinal tract. Do not take this medicine if you are hypersensitive to other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin.
Ibuprofen may interact with mifepristone, which is used to cause an abortion in early pregnancy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the effect of mifepristone. Do not take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 8-12 days after taking mifepristone.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medication 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.
Ibuprofen may interact with methotrexate, which is used to treat cancer and painful swelling and stiffness of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis). This medicine may increase the toxicity of methotrexate. Patients should take necessary precautions when taking both medicines together.
There may be an interaction of Ibuprofen with anticoagulants (warfarin), which are used to prolong the time it takes for the blood to clot. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Ibuprofen interacts with sulfonylureas which are 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 medication along with tacrolimus, which is used to prevent the rejection of certain transplanted organs. The combined usage of these medicines will lead to an increased risk of toxicity in the kidney (nephrotoxicity).
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medication along with cardiac glycosides, which are used in the treatment of heart failure and irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). The combined usage of these medicines may worsen the cardiac failure condition and reduce kidney function.

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