NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Ibuprofen – Use, Dose, Side effects, Interaction

Uses, Dosage, Side effects, Precaution, Interactions, Warnings, Pregnancy and Breast feeding effects of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a painkiller drug available through over the counter (OTC) without a prescription. It belongs to a group of painkillers NSAIDs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Ibuprofen is Prescribed to relieve pain from various conditions such as headache, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, dental pain or arthritis.

It is also used to reduce fever effects and to relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu.

Ibuprofen Classification and General Details.

  • Category : Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)
  • Schedule : Schedule “H”
  • Prescription : Required
  • Legal Status : Approved
  • Available as : Tablets ( 200mg, 400mg, 600mg, 800mg), Capsules, Liquid, Gels, Creams, Spray
  • Common Brands : Brufen, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin

Description of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is Prescribed to relieve pain in the conditions like..

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is also Given to treat mild to moderate fever.

Do not take this medicine if you have any of the following..

  • Bleeding disorder
  • Asthma
  • known allergy.

In some products ibuprofen is combined with other Drugs for combined therapy like cold and flu.

Uses of Ibuprofen

Why Ibuprofen is prescribed for?

Fever and Pain

Mainly Ibuprofen is given to treat headache, back pain, and fever.


Ibuprofen is used to treat conditions like tender and painful joints associated with Osteoarthritis.


Ibuprofen is prescribed to relieve excessive pain and cramps during menstruation.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ibuprofen is also given to treat symptoms like swelling, pain, and stiffness of joints associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

In General, it is used for below conditions :

  • Ease mild to moderate pain like toothache, migraine .
  • Control a high temperature when someone has the flu
  • Reduce pain and inflammation caused by conditions that affect the joints, bones and muscles
  • Relieve from  pain and swelling due to sprains and strains – such as sports injuries

How to use Ibuprofen?

Read the label on packaging before taking medication.

Read the Medication Guide provided by your provider before you start taking ibuprofen If your doctor has prescribed this medication.

Take this medication orally, usually every 4 to 6 hours with a glass of water.

Do not lie down for at least 15 minutes after taking ibuprofen.

If you have stomach upset during taking this medication, take it with or after food, milk, or an antacid like Pentoprazole, Rabeprazole etc..

The dose is based on your condition or as per the Doctors guideline

When ibuprofen is given to children, the dose is depending on the child’s weight .

Side effects / Adverse Effects

what are the Major & minor side effects for Ibuprofen?

Common :

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal discomfort

Rare :

  • Decreased urine output
  • Heartburn
  • Skin rash
  • Yellow colored eyes or skin
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Running Nose
  • Bloating
  • Kidney failure

When not to use?

Contraindications of Ibuprofen

  • Allergy to Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs
  • Asthmatic Condition
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Gastro-intestinal bleeding

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking Ibuprofen :

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs or if you have any other allergies.

Tell your doctor about your medical condition or history like ..

  • Asthma
  • Blood disorders like Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure,
  • Liver disease,
  • Stroke,
  • Throat/stomach/intestinal problems like bleeding, heartburn, ulcers

Ibuprofen may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco combined with this drug, may increase the risk for stomach bleeding.

This drug may make you feel dizziness, Alcohol / Wines can make you more drowsy.

Dosage and Administration of Ibuprofen

The Ibuprofen Dosage will depend on:

  • Your age ( Child / Adult / Infant etc)
  • Which condition is being treated
  • How severe your medical condition is
  • Any other medical conditions if you have
  • How your body reacts to the first dose

In General….

For Adult:

Adults can generally take one or two 200 mg tablets every 4 to 6 hours at a limit of maximum 1200 mg for 24 hours at regular interval.

For Children:

Children under 16 years may need to take a lower dose depending on their age and need or as per directed by Healthcare practitioners.

While Missed Dose

The missed dose can be taken as soon as you know that dose is missed but skip the dose if next dose time is near to another dose.

While Overdose

Seek emergency medical help or contact the doctor / Practitioner in case of overdose.

Interaction of Ibuprofen

Drug/Food/Alcohol interactions may change “how your medications work” or “increase the risk for serious side / Adverse effects”. 

Ibuprofen may interact differently for person to person and condition to condition.

You should ask for all the possible interactions with doctor before starting any medicine.

Interaction with Alcohol : MODERATE

Drinking alcohol/Wine with this drug may increases the risks of stomach bleeding.

Ibuprofen should not be taken with alcohol / Before or after alcohol .

If you find symptoms of stomach bleeding like presence of dried and coffee colored blood in cough or stools then you should get immediate medical help.

Interaction with Medicine

  • Antihypertensives : MODERATE
  • Corticosteroids : MODERATE
  • Aspirin : SEVERE
  • Methotrexate : SEVERE

It may also interact with many other drugs, including:

  • Antidepressants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics

Disease interactions

Asthma : SEVERE

Do not take Ibuprofen if you have NSAID related asthma. This type of history should be reported to the doctor so that appropriate substitution can be provided.

Fluid Retention and edema : SEVERE

Ibuprofen should be taken by Doctors consultation only.  Monitoring of blood pressure(BP) and heart conditions is necessary on a regular interval While the course of this therapy.

Skin rash : SEVERE

Ibuprofen can be a cause of some fatal skin allergies having a Signs and symptoms like

  • Rashes,
  • Hives,
  • Fever

Food interactions 

Not reported but still it depends on person to person, so consult your doctor for more information

Ibuprofen During Pregnancy

Ibuprofen is not recommended for pregnant women .

Ideally, pregnant women should not consume ibuprofen until and unless a doctor recommends and prescribes it or benefits overcomes the risk.

Doctor may prescribe Paracetamol as an Alternative during pregnancy.

Ibuprofen During Breast Feeding

Small amounts of Ibuprofen may appear in breast milk, so it do not cause any harmful effect to your baby during you’re breastfeeding.

But recommended to consult a Doctor before taking this drug while breast feeding.

Ibuprofen for children

Ibuprofen can be given to children beyond age of three months or who have weigh at least 5 Kgs to relieve

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Fever

Pediatric Doctor may Prescribe ibuprofen for younger children in cases like Vaccination in case of Paracetamol doesn’t work.

General warnings

Heart surgery

Ibuprofen is not allowed in patients with recent heart surgery.

Gastro-intestinal bleeding

This Drug may cause severe bleeding when taken for a long duration. Elderly peoples with the history of the gastrointestinal disease are on the higher risk. Any symptoms including blood in stools and vomiting should be informed to the doctor immediately.

Impaired kidney function

This medicine may cause kidney injury. Regular and close monitoring of kidney function is necessary.


This Drug is not recommended in patients with asthmatic condition or having allergy to aspirin or other NSAIDs

Impaired liver function

Ibuprofen may cause liver injury. Monitoring of Liver functions may required during therapy.

How Ibuprofen works?

Ibuprofen belongs to a Category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

This medicine works by blocking the release of particular chemical messengers that are responsible for fever, pain and inflammation.

Expert Advice for Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation.

Take it with or after food or milk or some antacids to prevent upset stomach.

Always take it as per the dose and duration prescribed by doctor.

Long term use of this medication may cause some serious complications such as stomach bleeding and kidney problems.

Do not take antacids within two hours of taking Ibuprofen.

Avoid consuming alcohol/Beer while taking Ibuprofen as it may increase the risk of stomach problems.

Strictly inform your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or stroke.

Your doctor should regularly monitor kidney function, liver function and levels of blood components during Ibuprofen therapy.

Other Important Details 

Onset of action (duration of time it takes for a drug’s to come in effects)

The effect of this medicine can be observed in 30 to 60 minutes after administration.

Duration of effect

The effect of this medicine lasts for an average 4 – 6 Hours.

Is it habit forming medicine?

No habit forming occurrence has been reported.

storage and disposal

Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture and importantly keep out of reach of children.

Commonly Asked Questions / FAQs

Is Ibuprofen safe?

Ibuprofen is generally safe if it is used at the doses and for the duration prescribed by the doctor. Patients should follow the guidelines of the doctor regarding its use.

Can I take Ibuprofen with Betahistine drugs?

Yes, it can be taken with Betahistine. There are no reported harmful drug interactions or harmful effects when they are used together

Can I take Ibuprofen with Tamsulosin or with paracetamol?

Yes, It can be taken with Tamsulosin or paracetamol. No harmful / Severe side effects or other interactions have been seen when they are taken together.

Can I take Ibuprofen with rabeprazole or other Antacid?

Yes, it can be taken with Rabeprazole to prevent acidic stomach or ulcers. But take before ibuprofen.

Can I take Ibuprofen with famotidine?

Yes, It can be taken with Famotidine as no harmul adverse effects have been seen when they are used together.
This information is to supplement, not substitute to the judgment of healthcare professionals. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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