Ibuprofen generally takes about 30 minutes for work. However, this timeframe can vary from one person to the next, and for different reasons.When ibuprofen begins to work, you’ll typically begin to notice a decline in fever or pain. The anti-inflammatory effects of ibuprofen usually take longer sometimes a week or more. Ibuprofen is rapidly cleared from your body. This is one of the reasons why depending on the condition that’s being treated you may need to take a dose every few hours.
What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a kind of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID. It’s generally taken to help ease symptoms like inflammation, pain, and fever.Ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Mortin, Advil, and Midol, among others.This drug works by inhibiting an enzyme that helps produce compounds called Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are linked with inflammation and pain in the body.
What’s ibuprofen used for?
Ibuprofen is generally taken to help ease inflammation and pain.
Common conditions that ibuprofen is used for include:
For acute conditions, like a headache, ibuprofen will likely only be taken once or twice over the short term. For chronic conditions, like back pain or arthritis, ibuprofen may need to be taken regularly for weeks or months at a time.
What can affect how long it takes to work?
Some factors that may affect how rapidly ibuprofen takes to work for you include:
Whether or not other drugs are taken at the same time
If you have food in your stomach
Your overall health
The dosage that’s taken
Ibuprofen is a kind of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID. It is generally taken to help ease inflammation and pain.Some people may experience symptom relief rapidly while others find that it takes longer.
Who can and cannot take ibuprofen
Some brands of ibuprofen tablets, syrup and capsules contain glucose, aspartame, colourings, gelatin, lactose, sodium, sorbitol, soya or sucrose, so they may be unsuitable for some people.
Do not take ibuprofen by mouth or apply it to your skin if you:
Have high blood pressure that’s not under control
Are trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant
Have had allergic symptoms like wheezing, runny nose or skin reactions after taking aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines NSAIDs.
Have had an allergic reaction to ibuprofen or any other medicines in the past
To make sure ibuprofen (by mouth or on your skin) is safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
Chickenpox or shingles taking ibuprofen can increase the chance of certain infections and skin reactions.
Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
Heart disease or severe heart failure
Liver problems, such as liver fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver failure
A health problem that means you have an increased chance of bleeding
Had bleeding in your stomach, a stomach ulcer or a hole perforation in your stomach.
Do not take ibuprofen by mouth or apply it to your skin if you have high blood pressure that’s not under control and some other serious issues. It is generally taken to ease the pain so you can take it when you feel any kind of pain and inflammation.
What’s the typical dosage?
Ibuprofen is typically available in 200-milligram (mg) pills over-the-counter.It’s ideal to use the minimum dosage to ease your symptoms. Generally, one ibuprofen pill is taken by mouth every 4 to 6 hours. If one pill doesn’t work to ease symptoms, a second pill can be taken.
Don’t take more than 1,200 mg of ibuprofen in one day. For OTC ibuprofen, this equates to a maximum of 6 pills per day. Additionally, avoid taking ibuprofen for longer than 10 days, unless directed to do so by your doctor.
A general side effect of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs is an upset stomach. Because of this, it may be helpful to take ibuprofen with milk or food.
Dosage for children
Ibuprofen can be given to children as a chewable tablet, liquid solution, or pill. Which form is recommended will depend on the child’s age.The dosage of ibuprofen in children under age 12 is based on the child’s body weight.If your child needs to take ibuprofen, ask their doctors for the recommended dosage and how often it needs to be taken.
Ibuprofen is typically available in 200-milligram (mg) pills. Ibuprofen can be given to children as a chewable tablet, liquid solution, or pill. Which form is recommended will depend on the child’s age.
How to use ibuprofen gel, mousse or spray
The amount of ibuprofen you put on your skin depends on the product you’re using check the package leaflet carefully for how much to use.Gently massage the ibuprofen into the painful area 3 or 4 times a day. Leave at least 4 hours between applications, and do not put it on more than 4 times in 24 hours.
Never use ibuprofen gel, mousse or spray on your mouths, eyes, lips, nose or genital area. Do not put it on a broken skin. Do not put plasters or dressings over skin you’ve applied ibuprofen to.
What if I accidentally swallow the gel?
If you swallow ibuprofen gel or mousse by accident, you may get symptoms including:
Being sick (vomiting)
The amount of ibuprofen you put on your skin depends on the product you’re using. Never use ibuprofen gel, mousse or spray on your mouths, eyes, lips, nose or genital area.
How to take Tablets, Capsules and Syrup
The usual dose for adults is one or two 200mg tablets 3 times a day. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a higher dose of up to 600mg to take 4 times a day if needed. This should only happen under supervision of a doctor.
If you take ibuprofen 3 times a day, leave at least 6 hours between doses. If you take it 4 times a day, leave at least 4 hours between doses. If you have pain all the time, your doctor may recommend slow-release ibuprofen tablets or capsules. It’s usual to take these once a day in the evening or twice a day. Leave a gap of 10 to 12 hours between doses if you’re taking ibuprofen twice a day.
For people who find it difficult to swallow capsules or tablets, ibuprofen is available as a tablet that melts in your mouth, granules that you mix with a glass of water to make a drink, and as a syrup. Swallow ibuprofen tablets or capsules whole with a glass of water or juice. You should take ibuprofen tablets and capsules after a meal or snack or with a drink of milk. It will be less likely to upset your stomach. Do not chew, break, crush or suck them as this could irritate your mouth or throat.
The usual dose for adults is one or two 200mg tablets 3 times a day. If you take ibuprofen 3 times a day, leave at least 6 hours between doses.
5 Serious Side effects of Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen can have some side effects, especially if it’s taken at a higher dosage, or over a longer period of time.
The most serious side effects include:
1. Decreased kidney function and increased blood pressure
Prostaglandins help keep the pressure in your kidneys at the right level to filter the fluids in your body and maintain your blood pressure. Ibuprofen changes your body’s production of prostaglandins. This change can lead to an imbalance in your body fluid pressure, which can decrease your kidney function and increase your blood pressure.
Symptoms of decreased kidney function include:
Increased blood pressure
Your risk is increased if you:
Are an older adult
Take blood pressure medications
Have kidney disease
2. Allergic reaction
Some people have an allergic reaction to ibuprofen, but this is also rare.If you’ve had allergic reactions to aspirin, don’t take ibuprofen. If you start to have trouble breathing or your face or throat starts to swell, contact your doctor right away and stop taking ibuprofen.
3. Heart attack and stroke
For most people, the risks of heart attack and stroke are rare. However, your risks increase if you use too much ibuprofen or use it for too long. Your risk is also higher if you:
Take other medications that affect how your blood clots
Have other risk factors for heart attack or stroke
Have a clotting disorder
4. Ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestine
Prostaglandins also help maintain the constant repair of your stomach lining, which protects you from damage from stomach acid.Because ibuprofen decreases how much prostaglandin you make, stomach damage such as bleeding and ulcers in the stomach and intestines is a possible side effect.This side effect is fairly rare. However, the risk increases the longer you use ibuprofen. Other factors that increase your risk include:
Alcohol use specifically more than three alcoholic beverages per day.
Use of oral steroids or the blood thinners known as anticoagulants.
A history of ulcers or bleeding in your stomach or intestines
There’s a very rare risk of liver failure after taking ibuprofen. If you have liver disease, talk to your doctor before taking ibuprofen. Stop taking ibuprofen and contact your doctor right away if you start to have any of the following symptoms:
Pain in the upper right area of your abdomen
Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Lack of energy
How to cope with side effects
What to do about:
If you get repeated indigestion stop taking ibuprofen and see your doctor as soon as possible. If you need something to relieve the discomfort, try taking an antacid but do not put off going to the doctor.
Try not to eat foods that cause wind such as beans, lentils, and onions). Eat smaller meals, eat and drink slowly, and exercise daily. There are pharmacy medicines that can also help, such as charcoal tablets or simethicone.
Being sick (vomiting) have small, frequent sips of water. Speak to a pharmacist if you have signs of dehydration, such as peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Don’t take any other medicines to treat vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
If ibuprofen makes you feel dizzy, stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Avoid cigarettes, coffee and alcohol. If the dizziness doesn’t get better within a couple of days, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.
Headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
Ibuprofen can have some side effects. The most common side effects include vomiting and nausea and less common side effects include dizziness and bloating. We can also cope with side effects of ibuprofen.
Other types of NSAIDs
Ibuprofen isn’t the only kind of NSAID available. There are other options you can try if you’re not sure about taking ibuprofen.In addition to ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen are also available over the counter. Remember that aspirin should never be given to adolescents and children due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Some NSAIDs are only available with a prescription. A few examples of these include:
If you’re unsure which NSAID is right for you, talk to your doctor. Based on your medical history and current medications, your doctor can prescribed an NSAID that’s appropriate for you to take.
There are other options you can try if you’re not sure about taking ibuprofen. Some NSAIDs are only available with a prescription such as Ketorolac (Toradol), Indomethacin, Feneoprofen (Nalfon), Diclofenac (Voltaren), Celecoxib.
Caution with other Medicines
Ibuprofen doesn’t mix well with some medicines.Ibuprofen applied to the skin is less probably to interfere with other medicines than if it’s taken by mouth.
For safety, tell your doctor if you’re taking these medicines before you start taking ibuprofen by mouth or using it on your skin:
Diabetes medicines such as gliclazide
Antidepressants such as citalopram, fluvoxamine, venlafaxine, paroxetine or sertraline.
Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, nalidixic acid, norfloxacin or ofloxacin.
Steroid medicines such as betamethasone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone or prednisolone.
Medicines for high blood pressure
Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin, diclofenac, mefenamic acid and naproxen.
Blood-thinning medicines such as warfarin
There are some cautions to use the ibuprofen with other medicines. Ibuprofen applied to the skin is less probably to interfere with other medicines than if it’s taken by mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does ibuprofen take to work?
Ibuprofen takes about 15 to 30 minutes to kick in and 1 to 2 hours to take effect. But this also depends on what is there in your stomach or what you have eaten recently. If you use Ibuprofen in its liquid form, it works faster because your body doesn’t have to break down any caplet/tablet/capsule. It easily enters your bloodstream and gives relief from pain. Also, understand that every human is different. For some it can even take less than 15 minutes to work. Since ibuprofen has a ½ life of two hours, it works its best within this period. Hence, an individual should feel better by 30 minutes to an hour.
What happens if you take ibuprofen on an empty stomach?
Ibuprofen is a tablet, capsule or caplet that you take with a glass of water. It is important to have it with milk or food. Taking it on an empty stomach can irritate the stomach lining and might cause bleeding.It’s hard to say but you may get an upset stomach, and/or nausea. If you continue to take ibuprofen on an empty stomach you may eventually get a stomach ulcer. It’s better to take it with food. Your doctor or nurse can prescribe ibuprofen for you or you can buy it over the counter.
Is it safe to take Ibuprofen every 4 hours? What is the maximum safe dosage?
Ibuprofen is an NSAID. NSAID’s (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) are used for pain & inflammation relief. It is not advised to use them every 4 hours long term as they can cause GI ulcers and damage kidneys. Every 4 hours should be for an acute injury or illness not more than a week.Dosing varies by age, weight & disease state. So maximum safe dosage also differs. Always take your NSAID with food & water. Never lay down after taking it, stay upright at least 30 min to allow it to empty from your stomach.
How do Ibuprofen and Nurofen differ?
Ibuprofen is the actual drug name. Whereas Nurofen is a brand name of ibuprofen. In the same way, Dyson is a brand name of a vacuum cleaner.Chemically there is no difference between a generic ibuprofen tablet and one of Nurofen, despite an very significant difference in price. It’s amazing how many people, even after explaining this, will still choose to spend £4.00 on a pack of Nurofen, as opposed to £0.50 on a pack of ibuprofen, that will work in the exact same way.
Is 800 mg of ibuprofen more effective than 4 x 200mg of ibuprofen? If so, why?
It is virtually the same amount of ibuprofen but it is dangerous at the same time. The difference is the recommended dosage on the 200 mg bottles you can buy over the counter the recommended dosage is one to two tablets. 800 million mg is a high dosage of ibuprofen which if you take too much or too often can cause serious damage to your kidney or liver and other organs. That is why it is only available by prescription only. Not to mention there are other chemical compounds in the 200 mg pills that are going to be four times as much if you take 4 200 mg pills. If you take 1 800 mg ibuprofen those other ingredients will not be in high dosage as taking four of the 2 mg pills would be which is why it’s not recommended.
Does Ibuprofen reduce swelling?
Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and it works by blocking the production of prostaglandins. These are substances that the body creates in response to injuries and which cause pain, swelling and inflammation. Ibuprofen reduces swelling by tackling the cause of that swelling, making it a useful painkiller to take for minor injuries because it can tackle both the initial pain and the swelling that follows shortly afterwards.
Is there anything better than Ibuprofen for swelling?
There is naproxen, which is available over the counter as Aleve. It may be roughly about as good as ibuprofen for relieving inflammation but it is a bit more irritating to the stomach so requires some food in your stomach and being taken with a lot of water to avoid that, and it relieves pain for roughly 12-ish hrs, while ibuprofen has to be taken every 4 hrs like clockwork.
Is taking Ibuprofen every day a good way to prevent disease caused by inflammation?
Ibuprofen will mask the inflammation (which is one of the several symptoms) of a disease. If the disease is bacterial caused inflammation,it will just suppress the inflammation & not kill the bacteria. If the inflammation is caused by auto immune disease such rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation & pain associated with it will be controlled but not the root cause which may be an overactive immune system & so on. So to answer your question, Ibuprofen will only mask or lessen inflammation & pain(inflammation and pain are closely related,one usually causes the other) but not the disease. In fact,if taken on a daily basis on a long term , Ibuprofen will certainly damage your kidneys & also predispose your stomach to get ulcers.
Does Ibuprofen make you sleepy?
No. Advil, when taken at the recommended dose, does not contain any ingredients that are likely to make you sleepy .The active ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen , an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that is a pain reliever and fever reducer.
Does Ibuprofen keep you awake at night?
Aspirin and ibuprofen disrupted sleep in comparison to place by increasing the number of awakenings and percentage of time spent in stage wake, and by decreasing sleep efficiency. Ibuprofen also delayed the onset of the deeper stages of sleep.
Is there caffeine in Ibuprofen?
The additional analgesic effect of caffeine should be weighed against the increased risk of side effects. Caffeine is available in combination with acetaminophen or aspirin, but there are currently no products in the United States that contain ibuprofen plus caffeine.
Can Ibuprofen help mood?
Clinical trials show that supplementary treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and Nurofen) and celecoxib (Celebrex), improved mood in patients with elevated CRP levels. These anti-inflammatory drugs belong to a class called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Ibuprofen generally takes about 30 minutes for work. However, this timeframe can vary from one person to the next, and for different reasons. Ibuprofen is a kind of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID. It’s generally taken to help ease symptoms like inflammation, pain, and fever. Some people may experience symptom relief rapidly while others find that it takes longer. Do not take ibuprofen by mouth or apply it to your skin if you have high blood pressure that’s not under control and some other serious issues. It is generally taken to ease the pain so you can take it when you feel any kind of pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen is typically available in 200-milligram (mg) pills. Ibuprofen can be given to children as a chewable tablet, liquid solution, or pill. Which form is recommended will depend on the child’s age.