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- What is ibuprofen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for ibuprofen?
- Is ibuprofen available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for ibuprofen?
- What are the side effects of ibuprofen?
- What is the dosage for ibuprofen?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with ibuprofen?
- Is ibuprofen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about ibuprofen?
What is ibuprofen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of this class include aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen) and several others. These drugs are used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. Pain, fever, and inflammation are promoted by the release in the body of chemicals called prostaglandins. Ibuprofen blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower levels of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. The FDA approved ibuprofen in 1974.
What brand names are available for ibuprofen?
Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and many others
Is ibuprofen available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for ibuprofen?
Yes (400 to 800 mg strengths), and also OTC (over-the-counter)
What are the side effects of ibuprofen?
The most common side effects from ibuprofen are:
- ringing in the ears,
- abdominal pain,
- constipation, and
NSAIDs reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore increase bleeding after an injury.
Ibuprofen may cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine, and the ulcers may bleed. Sometimes, ulceration can occur without abdominal pain; and due to bleeding, the only signs or symptoms of an ulcer may be black, tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension).
Sometimes, ulceration can occur without abdominal pain, due to the bleeding, and the only signs or symptoms of an ulcer are:
- black, tarry stools,
- weakness, and
- dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension)
NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients who already have impaired function of the kidney or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be cautious.
People who are allergic to other NSAIDs, including aspirin, should not use ibuprofen.
Individuals with asthma are more likely to experience allergic reactions to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.
Other serious side effects associated with NSAIDs are:
- fluid retention (edema),
- blood clots,
- heart attacks,
- hypertension (high blood pressure), and
- heart failure.
NSAIDs (except low- dose aspirin) may increase the risk of potentially fatal heart attacks, stroke, and related conditions in people with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. The increased risk of heart attack or stroke may occur as early as the first week of use and the risk may increase with longer use and is higher in patients who have underlying risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease. Therefore, NSAIDs should not be used for the treatment of pain resulting from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
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