All you need to know about the go to Ibuprofen

Last updated date: 07-Sep-2022


14 mins read

What is Ibuprofen?


Ibuprofen is a common analgesic medicine used to treat a variety of aches and pains such as toothache, period pain, and back pain. Inflammation caused by sprains and strains, as well as arthritis discomfort, can also be treated with ibuprofen.

There are multiple forms of ibuprofen available, including tablets, capsules, granules, or ibuprofen liquid. While these forms are designed to be ingested, other options do not require swallowing, as they are directly applied to one’s skin: ibuprofen gel, mousse, or spray. Ibuprofen products are available in different brands, strengths, and packaging sizes.

In certain preparations, ibuprofen is mixed with additional analgesics. For example, some cold and flu medications, such as Nurofen Cold and Flu, have it as an ingredient alongside a decongestant, Phenylephrine Hydrochloride. Most ibuprofen brands are sold at pharmacies and grocery stores as over-the-counter medicines (OTC), yet certain varieties can’t be obtained without a medical prescription.


Is Ibuprofen Acetaminophen? Is Ibuprofen Tylenol?

Even though ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both medications that are designed to ease and treat certain types of pain, the two of them are medically considered distinct types of pain relievers. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, whereas acetaminophen, frequently labeled as APAP (N-acetyl-para-aminophenol), is its own category (NSAID). Acetaminophen is the primary ingredient found in Tylenol products. As the effects of ibuprofen or acetaminophen (ibuprofen or Tylenol) are similar, medical professionals recommend using acetaminophen for pain and taking ibuprofen in cases of additional inflammations.


Are Ibuprofen and Advil the same? Ibuprofen vs Advil

As previously mentioned, ibuprofen is available in many different brands, including Advil, Motrin, IBU, and others. The drug called ibuprofen, having the molecular formula C13H18O2, is the main ingredient in Advil medications.


What is Ibuprofen used for?

Ibuprofen headache

There are multiple ibuprofen uses, including treating fever, sense of discomfort, and inflammation, yet it can also reduce the intensity of the following symptoms: headaches, backaches, sinus pain, pain related to dental procedures, and muscular aches, period pain, sore throat and others. It is essential to remember that ibuprofen doesn’t cure medical conditions, as it only provides temporary relief.

  •   Ibuprofen headache

Multiple studies confirm that ibuprofen for headaches is very effective, relieving migraine pains varying in intensity from mild to moderate. Ibuprofen is recommended by the American Headache Society (AHS) as an effective first-line treatment for migraine in adults. However, many medications are designed to help with this type of pain. Considering ibuprofen VS acetaminophen for headaches, many healthcare providers recommend trying acetaminophen as a first option.

  •   Is Ibuprofen a fever reducer?

Experts strongly recommend ibuprofen for fever, as its effectiveness is scientifically proven, and it significantly lowers one’s body temperature in cases of fever. Regarding ibuprofen VS acetaminophen for fever (ibuprofen or Tylenol for fever), most studies indicate that the effectiveness of acetaminophen and ibuprofen in reducing fevers is similar.

  •   Ibuprofen for sore throat

In most cases, sore throats are not severe and are extremely common. Individuals often recover from sore throats in approximately a week. Most are treatable at home and are brought on by mild illnesses like colds or the flu. Among many other medicines, ibuprofen is a popular and effective option for the treatment of sore throats.

  •   Ibuprofen swelling

Although they are frequently used interchangeably, swelling and inflammation do in fact have different meanings. The body's immune system is "switched on" during inflammation, typically as a response of a foreign virus or an injury. Swelling can happen with or without inflammation, depending on the joint, organ, or lymph node in question. Both swelling and inflammation should be regarded seriously, especially if the cause is unclear, it lasts for an extended period of time without improving, or it coexists with other unsettling symptoms. Professionals say that ibuprofen for swelling is a very good option. If an individual's swelling is brought on by inflammation, ibuprofen is a suitable option for treating and relieving symptoms.

  •   Ibuprofen stomach pain

Ibuprofen and other painkillers can help lessen cramping and abdominal pain brought on by a variety of medical conditions. It could be taken along with drugs to treat cramps.

  •   Ibuprofen hangover

After a night of heavy drinking, over-the-counter pain relievers can definitely assist with hangover headaches and other aches and pains one might have throughout the body, meaning that ibuprofen for hangovers effectively treats some of the experienced symptoms.


What is the Ibuprofen mechanism of action?

ibuprofen mechanism of action

The pharmacologic effects of ibuprofen are comparable to those of other prototype NSAIDs. In both animals and people, ibuprofen has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic effects. Although the drug's precise methods of action are unclear, many of its effects seem to be primarily caused by its ability to block prostaglandin formation. Ibuprofen prevents the production of prostaglandins in bodily tissues by inhibiting cyclooxygenase. Prostaglandin G/H synthase-1 and -2 (PGHS-1 and PGHS-2, respectively) are at least two isoenzymes that catalyze the production of prostaglandins in the arachidonic acid pathway. Like other prototype NSAIDs, ibuprofen inhibits COX-1 as well as COX-2. NSAIDs appear to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activity primarily through inhibition of the COX-2 isoenzyme; inhibition of COX-1 is thought to be the cause of the drugs' unfavorable effects on GI mucosa and platelet aggregation. However, the precise mechanisms by which these effects occur are still unknown.


Ibuprofen dosing- How to take Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen tablets

While taking any type of medication, it is essential to strictly follow the advice given by a medical professional or pharmacist, as well as the instructions provided with the medicine. Since most people use internet searches such as “how much ibuprofen can I take”, “how many ibuprofen should I take,” or “how often ibuprofen can be taken”, the following information is included in the patient information leaflet within the box, yey it is essential to consult a medical expert regarding the correct dosage for each individual. Generally, the ibuprofen max dose daily for adults is considered to be 3200 mg per day (three or four doses) in cases of taking prescription ibuprofen and 1200 mg per day for over-the-counter ibuprofen.

  •   Ibuprofen tablets, capsules, granules and liquid

Ibuprofen comes in doses of 200 mg, 400 mg, or 600 mg per tablet or capsule. Ibuprofen is present in slow-release pills and capsules in doses of 200, 300, or 800 mg. An ibuprofen dosage of 600 mg is contained in each sachet of granules. Ibuprofen's liquid dosage is either 200 mg or 400 mg per 10 ml, yet it is essential to check the label every time.

According to the ibuprofen dosage chart, the ibuprofen dosage for adults is typically one or two 200 mg pills or capsules three times daily. If necessary, the doctor may occasionally recommend a larger dose of up to 600 mg to be taken four times a day. For people taking granules, the typical dosage is one sachet is taken twice or three times daily. Some individuals might require taking it four times daily. It is essential to give one at least 6 hours between doses if they take ibuprofen three times per day and leave at least 4 hours between doses if taking it four times day. Medical professionals could suggest slow-release ibuprofen tablets or capsules if an individual experiences constant pain. These are often taken twice daily or once daily in the evening. When taking ibuprofen twice a day, one should wait about 10 to 12 hours in between doses.

Ibuprofen tablets or capsules should be swallowed whole together with a glass of water, milk, or juice, because eating, breaking, crushing or sucking them could irritate the tongue or throat. For people that experience difficulties in swallowing tablets or capsules, ibuprofen is available as a liquid, granules that are mixed with water to produce a drink, and a pill that melts in the tongue. For the last option, it is enough to put the pill on the tongue, let it dissolve and then swallow it without necessarily consuming any water as well. Ibuprofen granules can be taken by putting the sachet's contents into a glass of water to create an orange-flavored fizzy drink, stirring it, and then drinking it right immediately.

If one’s taking a liquid, a plastic syringe or spoon will be included to help measure the correct dosage. It is important to ask the pharmacist for a syringe or spoon if not having one, as a kitchen spoon won't measure the correct quantity. Ibuprofen liquid, granules, pills, or tablets should be taken with a meal, a snack, or a glass of milk so one’s stomach will not be irritated as much. Ibuprofen may take longer to start acting if taken right after food, which is why experts may recommend consuming ibuprofen with an empty stomach.

  •   Ibuprofen gel, mousse or spray

Depending on the medicinal product a person is using, they should apply ibuprofen to their skin in a specific amount. To find out how much to use, one should carefully read the package leaflet. Using these forms of ibuprofen means massaging them into the painful area three or four times a day, leaving at least four hours between applications. Since most products should only be used four times in a 24-hour period, one should see the directions that came with them. It is important to never use these products on certain areas of the human body, including the lips, mouth, eyes, nose and genital areas. Additionally, it is strongly recommended to wash one’s hands right after using them in order to avoid certain complications. Ibuprofen overdose is unlikely to result in adverse effects.


Ibuprofen for kids

Ibuprofen for kids

Similar to many other medicines, the amount of ibuprofen children can use differs from the quantity adults are recommended. Ibuprofen is a popular pain reliever for kids, as it can treat most of the conditions it helps in adults.

If a child has a high temperature (fever) and acts upset or ill, they can be given ibuprofen, available as a liquid (oral suspension) or as chewable pills for kids ages 3 months to 12 years. Ibuprofen is offered in tablets, capsules, and granules that you dissolve in water to form a drink for kids 12 years of age and older. Ibuprofen for children can generally be given to babies and young children who are 3 months old or older and weigh at least 5 kg (11 lb). In order to treat certain symptoms with ibuprofen infants’ parents must receive a doctor’s prescription, especially if their age is from one month to three months old.

Some ibuprofen brands that one can purchase over-the-counter are only safe for kids 7 years old and older, while tablets and other sorts are only appropriate for children 12 and above. It is essential to make sure the medication is appropriate for the child by reading the packaging or instruction manual or consult a healthcare provider regarding this issue. The ibuprofen pediatric dosing and frequency depend on the child’s age and other factors medical professionals consider when prescribing medications.


What are the side effects of Ibuprofen?

side effects of ibuprofen

  •   Is ibuprofen bad for you?

Ibuprofen is used so frequently that it's simple to overlook that it can have negative side effects. Ibuprofen is a medicine, and as with all drugs, it carries risks. Ibuprofen's side effects typically include stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting, nausea and gas, as well as constipation and diarrhea. However, these don't affect everyone. When they do happen, the impacts are typically not severe. Ibuprofen taken with milk or food can help many people avoid these side effects. There may also be severe side effects. The majority of these side effects is rare and can typically be prevented by taking ibuprofen as directed. These severe adverse effects, however, are more likely to occur if you take ibuprofen in excess or for an extended period of time.

  •   Is ibuprofen bad for your liver?

In people taking ibuprofen, livers can be affected, even though ibuprofen use carries a very small risk of liver failure. Before taking ibuprofen, it is important to consult a doctor in cases of having a pre-existing liver condition. If any of the following signs appear, one should stop taking ibuprofen immediately and call a medical professional: nausea, unusual lack of energy and itchiness, as well as yellowing of the skin tone or the whites of the eyes. These could be symptoms of a failing or damaged liver.

  •   Can ibuprofen cause constipation?

Side effects of consuming ibuprofen medications also include constipation. There are a few things one can do to assist treat constipation, get things going again, and prevent a future recurrence of this side effect if taking ibuprofen is causing it. For example, one could include more fiber into the dietary plans to support the digestive system and increase fluid intake.

  •   Can ibuprofen affect kidneys?

It is well-known that in people that consume ibuprofen kidneys may be damaged. Prostaglandins assist in maintaining the blood pressure and the proper degree of kidney pressure needed to filter bodily fluids. The body's production of prostaglandins is altered by ibuprofen. This alteration may result in an unbalanced bodily fluid pressure, which may impair kidney function and raise blood pressure. The following are signs of impaired kidney function: increased blood pressure, dizziness, urinating rarely, dehydration and fluid buildup.

  •   Is ibuprofen blood thinner?

It is considered that this medication, ibuprofen, thins blood, meaning that it slows down the time it takes for one’s blood to clot rather than really "thinning" it. For instance, it could take longer for an individual to create a blood clot if they cut themselves or suffer from an injury that causes bleeding.

  •   Other severe side effects of ibuprofen include heart attack and stroke, ulcers and bleeding in the intestine and stomach. Additionally, some people develop allergic reactions to this medicine.


Ibuprofen overdose

Fewer than 1% of ibuprofen overdoses are deadly, while most of the ibuprofen overdoses are not life-threatening. However, a few people have experienced significant consequences. When an adult shows signs of an overdose, there is no set cutoff dosage. A child may not show signs of an overdose if they take less than 100 mg/kg of ibuprofen. However, they may develop severe and perhaps fatal side effects at a dose of 400 mg/kg. The ibuprofen overdose timeline stands that overdose symptoms might appear in as little as 4 hours. They include ringing in the ears and blurred vision, difficulties in breathing, headaches, skin rashes, sweating and many other symptoms listed previously as side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and lack of urine production.


Ibuprofen interactions

  •   Ibuprofen and alcohol

Combining ibuprofen with alcohol might indeed be harmful to one’s health. Some medications can be affected by alcohol, which reduces their effectiveness. Additionally, some drugs' negative effects can be made worse by alcohol. Most of the time, it is safe to drink a little alcohol while taking ibuprofen. However, taking more ibuprofen than is advised or consuming a lot of alcohol considerably increases the risk of developing major issues.

  •   Ibuprofen with Acetaminophen

Ibuprofen and Tylenol together can be used, yet one should be careful not to consume more than the advised dosage. When taking the two drugs together, some patients experience some stomach or abdominal pain. It is preferable in this situation to take each drug at different times. One may, for instance, take ibuprofen first, then acetaminophen four hours later, repeating this procedure as necessary (or on alternate days).

  •   Ibuprofen and Aspirin

If a patient is taking aspirin for its cardioprotective properties in addition to ibuprofen, healthcare professionals should advise the patient on the best time to take the medication. The likelihood of any diminution of the antiplatelet action of low-dose aspirin is probably negligible with occasional use of ibuprofen. To prevent any potential interactions, patients taking ibuprofen 400 mg and immediate release low-dose aspirin (not enteric-coated) should take the latter medication at least 30 minutes after taking the former or at least 8 hours beforehand. Considering ibuprofen VS aspirin, despite the fact that both aspirin and ibuprofen are NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which both reduce pain and inflammation by preventing the body from producing prostaglandins, there are a number of variations between the two medications thus they are not interchangeable.

  •   Ibuprofen and Benadryl

Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are recognized to have no interactions with Benadryl. In actuality, Tylenol or Advil are frequently used in Benadryl combination medicines. These items are used to treat cold and allergy symptoms such as headaches, runny noses, and sneezing.


Ibuprofen vs Naproxen

Ibuprofen is considered to be short-acting, and naproxen is long-acting and more prone to cause an upset stomach. Ibuprofen and naproxen are both NSAIDs, making them comparable in many aspects, yet they also differ significantly. If NSAIDs are deemed necessary in adults, naproxen (in dosages up to 1000mg/day) or low-dose ibuprofen (in dosages up to 1200mg/day) are preferable. While the risk of GI side effects may be increased with naproxen, the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals without pre-existing risk factors is modest at these dosages.


Ibuprofen during pregnancy

Ibuprofen during pregnancy

Ibuprofen when pregnant is generally not advised unless a doctor prescribes it, especially if the mother is more than 30 weeks along, because of the ibuprofen's potential to harm the baby's kidneys and circulation. Ibuprofen use during the first trimester of pregnancy may also increase the risk of miscarriage. If one is pregnant, it is important to always see a doctor or pharmacist before using ibuprofen. Advice from the doctor is recommended regarding the advantages and potential drawbacks of using it.

Depending on how many weeks along the woman is in her pregnancy and the reason she needs to take the medication, a brief course of ibuprofen may be acceptable (not ibuprofen extra strength), yet the greatest pain reliever to use while pregnant is considered to be Paracetamol.




Ibuprofen is a pharmaceutical medication that is categorized as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID). The most common uses of this specific drug are treating the pain of various intensities, fever, as well as swelling, and inflammation. It is available in a variety of forms that can either be ingested or applied to one’s skin. As any other pharmaceutical drug, it is extremely important to be well-informed about its possible interactions and side effects before taking it as a treatment for certain symptoms. Additionally, in order to avoid any complications, it is recommended only to consume the recommended dosages. Consulting a healthcare provider is essential in cases of experiencing symptoms that can be linked to overdose signs, as the complications may be severe.


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