Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Brufen) is a popular over the counter pain killer medication. It can cause gastritis and heart burn.
Ibuprofen is a popular over the counter generic medication used as a pain killer. In addition it is used to control high fever. Its main brands are Motrin ®, Advil ® and Brufen ®. It is categorized as a Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory drug. However this medication is known to cause side effects such as gastritis and inhibition of blood clot formation.
What are the uses of this drug?
Specific indications of Ibuprofen are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps and painful urinary stones. In addition many people use this drug for every day pain relief such as tension headaches. In addition this medication can lessen the inflammation associated with various disease conditions.
Sometimes this medication can be used to reduce high fever that is not responding to Acetaminophen. However, it should be used in fever, only after consulting a doctor. It is because Ibuprofen is known to cause serious reduction in platelet function. In addition several types of viral fevers are known to cause platelet and blood clotting problems. Therefor taking Ibuprofen in undiagnosed fever is dangerous and sometimes life threatening.
What are the common side effects?
In addition to causing severe blood clotting problems, this medication is known to cause gastritis and gastric irritation. Another significant side effect that can occur after prolonged use of Ibuprofen is renal failure.
Gastric effects can be manifested by heart burn, stomach ache, abdominal bloating or passing blood with the stools (passing dark color stools).
In addition, people with Bronchial asthma may get acute asthmatic attacks with this medication. It is because Ibuprofen is known to constrict bronchioles and reduce air flow.
Very rarely few people may get an Anaphylactic shock with this drug. It is characterized by widespread hives, shortness of breath, chest tightness and pallor. If you happen to get this problem, then immediately go to the hospital.
How to minimize the side effects?
As with any medication, Ibuprofen should be taken as a whole with full glass of water. It should be used in recommended dosage. Since it is coming as enteric coated tablets to bypass the stomach, Ibuprofen should not be crushed before use. Sometimes side effects like stomach irritation and ulceration can be minimized by taking the medication with milk, aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide tablets.
In addition patients should take the lowest possible Ibuprofen dose to minimize the side effects.
When should you get medical help?
If you have bleeding disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, history of NSAID allergy (including aspirin) or bronchial asthma, you should tell that to your doctor, before popping Ibuprofen. In addition, if you have a history of troublesome gastritis, bleeding from the gastro intestinal tract, and passing dark color stools then you should consult your doctor before taking this drug. It is important that you should not take this drug without a doctor’s advice, if you have fever for more than two days.
How this drug affects pregnant mother and nursing infants?
It is important to note that if you are pregnant, you should not take Ibuprofen. It can cause serious harm to fetus, especially in the last three months. Amount in breast milk is too small to be harmful, but manufacturer advice to avoid if possible.
British National Formulary