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Ibuprofen Fact Card

Ibuprofen is a painkiller that is widely available as an over the counter medicine.

Brand Names Nurofen
Used For Mild to moderate pain and to control fever
Doseage Usual adult dosage is 200-400mg as required to a maximum of three times a day (or total dose 1200mg)
Side Effects Nausea, indigestion , diarrhoea
Warnings Please do not take if you have a history of any stomach problems or ulceration or any kidney issues.
Pregnancy Ibuprofen is not considered safe to take in pregnancy

Ibuprofen is a type of painkiller called a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). It is widely available in both pharmacies and supermarkets. 

What is Ibuprofen used to treat?

Ibuprofen is suitable for mild to moderate pain e.g. headaches, period pain

It is also used to bring down a fever e.g if somebody has flu-like symptoms

It is useful as a pain killer and anti inflammatory in muscle and joint pains e.g arthritis

How does Ibuprofen work?

Ibuprofen works by inhibiting an enzyme which blocks the production of prostaglandins in the body.  Prostaglandins cause pain, swelling and inflammation in the body.

ibuprofen alcohol

How do I take Ibuprofen?

The usual dose of ibuprofen for adults is 200mg- 400mg when required for pain. Doses should be at least 4-6 hours apart. Do not exceed 1200mg unless advised by your doctor.

Ibuprofen should be taken with food.

Ibuprofen comes in 200mg and 400mg tablets so be sure to check the dosage. 

Children will need a lower dosage. Please check the information on the packing or leaflet that came with the medicine. 

Side effects of Ibuprofen

Common: Nausea and vomiting 



Less common: 

Stomach ulceration 

Kidney problems

Blood in stool or vomit

Allergy reactions 

Worsening of asthma

ibuprofen side effects

Things to avoid

Ibuprofen can interact/cause harm when taken with other medications e.g. warfarin/blood thinners, antidepressants, steroid tablets.

If you are taking other medications please ask your doctor prior to taking ibuprofen.

Taking ibuprofen regularly for long periods of time should be avoided.  If you find yourself , taking it very frequently , please discuss this with your doctor.

It is not recommended that ibuprofen is given to anybody suffering from chicken pox or shingles.

Ibuprofen and alcohol

It is not unsafe to drink alcohol and ibuprofen. However, it should be noted that both ibuprofen and alcohol can irritate the stomach. It is therefore advisable to keep alcohol consumption low when taking ibuprofen.

ibuprofen when pregnant

Can I take Ibuprofen when pregnant?

Ibuprofen is best avoided in pregnancy . It can cause defects affecting the baby's heart or blood vessels.

Paracetamol is a safe alternative in pregnancy.

Ibuprofen and breastfeeding

Evidence is unclear so ibuprofen is best avoided when breastfeeding. 

ibuprofen when breastfeeding

Our doctors are available now and can issue same day prescriptions for all standard medications. To see a GP regarding a prescription for ibuprofen or for any other reason book an appointment now and start feeling better right away.

See a doctor about ibuprofen now

Please note. This site is for information only. If you are taking any medications please follow the instructions given by your doctor. Should you have an adverse reaction to any medication please seek medical advice.

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