IBUPROFEN (eye BYOO proe fen) treats mild to moderate pain, inflammation, or arthritis. It may also be used to reduce fever. It belongs to a group of medications called NSAIDs.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) within the past 2 weeks
High blood pressure
If you often drink alcohol
Lung or breathing disease (asthma)
Receiving steroids such as dexamethasone or prednisone
Smoke tobacco cigarettes
Stomach ulcers, other stomach or intestine problems
Take medications that treat or prevent blood clots
An unusual or allergic reaction to ibuprofen, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 12 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Patients over 65 years of age may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
If you get this medication as a prescription, a special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
What if I miss a dose?
If you take this medication on a regular basis, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
Other medications for inflammation such as prednisone
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, red or dark brown urine, small red or purple spots on skin, unusual bruising or bleeding
Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
Increase in blood pressure
Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Loss of appetite
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
A painful sore throat or sore throat with high fevers, headaches, nausea, or vomiting may be signs of a serious infection. Call your health care provider if these symptoms occur. Do not use this medication for more than 2 days or give to children under 3 years of age unless your health care provider tells you to.
Do not take other medications that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen with this medication. Side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, or ulcers may be more likely to occur. Many non-prescription medications contain aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Always read labels carefully.
This medication can cause serious ulcers and bleeding in the stomach. It can happen with no warning. Smoking, drinking alcohol, older age, and poor health can also increase risks. Call your health care provider right away if you have stomach pain or blood in your vomit or stool.
This medication does not prevent a heart attack or stroke. This medication may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. The chance may increase the longer you use this medication or if you have heart disease. If you take aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke, talk to your health care provider about using this medication.
Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcohol-containing drinks.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Talk to your health care provider if you are pregnant before taking this medication. Taking this medication between weeks 20 and 30 of pregnancy may harm your unborn baby. Your health care provider will monitor you closely if you need to take it. After 30 weeks of pregnancy, do not take this medication.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand up or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Be careful brushing or flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medication.
This medication may make it more difficult to get pregnant. Talk to your health care provider if you are concerned about your fertility.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F).
Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.