Ibuprofen is used to relieve pain from various conditions such as headache, dental pain, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, or arthritis. It is also used to reduce fever and to relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This effect helps to decrease swelling, pain, or fever.
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
Check the ingredients on the label even if you have used the product before. The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients. Also, products with similar names may contain different ingredients meant for different purposes. Taking the wrong product could harm you.
How to use:
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ibuprofen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually every 4 to 6 hours with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If you have stomach upset while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed by your doctor or the package label. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed by your doctor.
When ibuprofen is used by children, the dose is based on the child’s weight. Read the package directions to find the proper dose for your child’s weight. Consult the pharmacist or doctor if you have questions or if you need help choosing a nonprescription product.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug “as needed” (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away. If you are using the nonprescription product to treat yourself or a child for fever or pain, consult the doctor right away if fever worsens or lasts more than 3 days, or if pain worsens or lasts more than 10 days.
Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, unexplained stiff neck, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), vision changes, symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).
This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking ibuprofen, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as naproxen, celecoxib); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), blood disorders (such as anemia, bleeding/clotting problems), growths in the nose (nasal polyps), heart disease (such as previous heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke, throat/stomach/intestinal problems (such as bleeding, heartburn, ulcers).
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including ibuprofen. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have a change in the amount of urine.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially stomach/intestinal bleeding and kidney problems.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage, trouble getting pregnant). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.
This medication passes into breast milk, but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), cidofovir, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), lithium, “water pills” (diuretics such as furosemide).
This medication may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, “blood thinners” such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as celecoxib, ketorolac, or naproxen). These drugs are similar to ibuprofen and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Daily use of ibuprofen may decrease aspirin’s ability to prevent heart attack/stroke. Talk to your doctor about using a different medication (such as acetaminophen) to treat pain/fever. If you must take ibuprofen, talk to your doctor about taking immediate-release aspirin (not enteric-coated/EC) while taking ibuprofen. Take ibuprofen at least 8 hours before or at least 2 hours after your aspirin dose. Do not increase your daily dose of aspirin or change the way you take aspirin/other medications without your doctor’s approval.
If you are taking this drug on a regular schedule (not just “as needed”) and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.