Is Ibuprofen Dangerous?

Is Ibuprofen Dangerous?
Pain can interfere with everyday life, so it’s unsurprising that people grab the closest pain reliever. Often, that pain reliever is ibuprofen, thanks to its over-the-counter and affordable nature. Unfortunately, this can be an unwise decision as ibuprofen can cause several side effects, some of which are life-threatening. Learn more about these side effects and more below.

What Is Ibuprofen and How Does It Work?

Ibuprofen is an NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works by blocking the formation of prostaglandins, which are compounds that trigger fever, pain, and inflammation when the body is hurt.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs can cause several side negative effects. The most common include stomach issues, such as:
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
Less common but more severe side effects include the following:
  • Bleeding and peptic ulcer disease
  • Liver damage that leads to tiredness, jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, and flu-like symptoms
  • Kidney damage, leading to high blood pressure, dizziness, and irregular urination
  • Allergic reactions, including blisters, wheezing, rashes, and more
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

Risk Factors

Some factors can put you at a higher risk for serious complications, such as if you:
  • Have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
  • Take more than the recommended dose, or take it for long periods
  • Take blood thinners
  • Have a history of ulcers
  • Are over 60
  • Smoke

Other Names

Ibuprofen is the generic name for brands like Motrin and Advil. It or similar ingredients are also found in OTC medications like Goody’s and BC powders. All NSAIDs can cause the same side effects, so be sure to read labels before taking a medication. Ibuprofen may be easy to acquire and afford, but it can be hard on your body. If you need to use it, keep it to a minimum and consult your doctor immediately if you notice any strange side effects.

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