Ibuprofen Review: How Safe and Effective Is This Product?

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Expert Rating: 3 / 5.0
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with the most current information available.
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What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen, was originally marketed as Brufen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is normally used for the relief of symptoms of fever, arthritis, menstrual pains, and toothaches among other purposes not listed above. Ibuprofen is also used as an analgesic (given to alleviate pain without causing loss of consciousness) besides having antiplatelet effects which protects the blood from clotting.

Who Found Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a patented product of Boots Company who derived it from propanoic acid back in 1960.

Where Is Ibuprofen Found In Nature?


Although you can’t find Ibuprofen naturally in nature, there are natural alternative to it. Any food with anti-inflammatory properties will play as a good alternative. This applies to many spices, herbs and berries

Ibuprofen Research At The College Of Charleston

Charleston College is analyzing Ibuprofen tablets from all over the world and tablets are stored in the glove compartment over the summer in a bid to find out the effects of such exposure on Ibuprofen.

How Does Ibuprofen Work?

Basically, Ibuprofen works by reducing* body hormones that bring about inflammation in our bodies. After an illness and/or injury, our body (our brain to be precise) releases prostaglandins which cause pain and swelling (inflammation). Prostaglandins can at times cause fever too. Ibuprofen works by blocking these hormones. The pain killing effects of Ibuprofen will be felt immediately after taking a pill, but the anti-inflammation effects can take a bit longer for them to be realized.

Reported Benefits

Ibuprofen is used in the care of many ailments and pain caused by illness or injury. Since it was first used, Ibuprofen is known to alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by the following complications;

  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual
  • Minor injuries

Reported Side Effects

Besides its intended effects, Ibuprofen can cause some unwanted side effects which may vary depending on the user. The following side effects have been reported from using Ibuprofen (Note: not all the side effects listed below occur. In some users, there are no side effects at all

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Bloating
  • Cloudy urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Full feeling
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Itching skin
  • Pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • Pale skin
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps

Does Ibuprofen Work For Cramps, Sore Throats, Inflammation, Cold, Fever, Nausea, Stomach Pain?

Yes. Ibuprofen will soothe the pain caused by all of the above.

Dosing Information

  • The recommended dosage for adult patients with Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis is 400-800mg every 6-8
    hours, but this may vary according to your physician’s advice
  • The recommended dosage for fever and pain in an adult is 200-400mg every 4-6 hours. For children 6months-12years, 5mg/kg/dose every 6-8 hours for temperatures less than 39.2 degrees C and double the amount for temperatures greater than 39.2 degrees C

Consult a physician if pain or fever doesn’t stop within three days or if you experience severe side effects. It is also advisable for you to take it with food or milk. Overdosing on Ibuprofen can be fatal and in case of overdose, you should consult the nearest hospital or call 911. The symptoms of overdose include:

  • Dizziness
  • Uncontrollable fast eye movements
  • Slow breathing
  • Short periods of time without breathing
  • Blue color around the lips, mouth, and nose

Pregnant women and people suffering from heart diseases should consult their caregivers before taking Ibuprofen.

Is Ibuprofen Safe?

If taken as advised by your physician, Ibuprofen is very safe to use. However, caution should be taken when administering Ibuprofen to people with/who suffer from/ have suffered from;

  • Asthma
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Mild heart failure
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Angina
  • Heart attacks (ischemic heart disease)
  • Narrowing of the arteries (peripheral arterial disease)
  • A history that includes any episode of stomach bleeding
  • Stroke

Do Not Take Ibuprofen If You

  • Are sensitive to aspirin or any other NSAID
  • Have a peptic ulcer
  • Have had a peptic ulcer
  • Have severe heart failure

Is Ibuprofen Same As Tylenol, Alcohol, Aspirin, Advil Etc.?

Ibuprofen is different from all the above, although it may have some similar effects with the above mentioned.

Is It Dangerous to Drink Alcohol While Taking Ibuprofen?

While it is okay to take drink alcohol while taking Ibuprofen, it is advisable that you limit the amount of alcohol taken since alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach and taking NSAIDs such as aspirin and Ibuprofen for a long period can lead to stomach upsets including ulcers.

Why Is Ibuprofen Bad For You?

NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen may increase* your chances of having cardiovascular events, myocardial infraction or even stroke which are all fatal. This is dependent on the duration of usage. Patients who have already experienced the above complication may be at higher risk.

Extended use of NSAID such as Ibuprofen can cause bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines. This can be heighted by taking Ibuprofen on an empty belly or with alcohol.


  • DO NOT take Ibuprofen if you will be undergoing a coronary artery bypass
  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may cause ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the stomach or intestine
  • People who take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications

What Experts Say About Ibuprofen?

It has been described as a necessary evil due to its pain killing properties and its high risk. Most physicians, however recommend moderate use of Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs


Ibuprofen is proven to be effective in soothing pain and fighting inflation. However, it is a high risk solution with numerous side effects, some fatal, and should therefore be used carefully. If there is a chance of using another user friendly method, then it is highly recommended.

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