Ibuprofen is a drug that can be obtained from pharmacies without a prescription. It helps lower fever and relieve various types of pain: physical pain, headache, etc.

However, just because this drug is available without a prescription does not mean that it is not dangerous. Like any medication, taking ibuprofen requires special attention. Bad use, such as overdose (once or daily), can have serious repercussions on your body and your health.

8 precautions to take with ibuprofen:

  • Read the leaflet, ask your doctor/pharmacist

Whatever medicine you are taking, always read the package leaflet first. If you have any doubts about its use, ask your doctor or your pharmacist for advice.

  • Ibuprofen is taken with food!

This instruction is often poorly followed, but ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that must be taken with a meal. Indeed, taking it with food limits the risk of heartburn.

  • Watch out for fragile people

Since it attacks the stomach, people with severe digestive problems (such as digestive bleeding, history of stomach ulcer or duodenum ulcer) should not take ibuprofen or drugs containing this molecule in the active substances.

People with heart, liver or kidney disease should also not consume ibuprofen without their doctor’s advice.

Ibuprofen is also strongly discouraged in cases of chickenpox and blood clotting problems.

  • Respect the prescribed dose

Do not exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor, pharmacist or, if applicable, the package leaflet. Overdose can lead to a stomach ulcer or even a coma. Therefore, take the lowest possible dose and minimize the duration of treatment to avoid side effects. If the fever does not pass beyond 3 days despite ibuprofen, stop treatment and consult your doctor. It is the same in case of physical pain: do not take ibuprofen for more than 5 days.

  • Contraindicated for pregnant women

Ibuprofen is prohibited for pregnant women from the 6th month of pregnancy.

  • Take doses 6 hours apart

Whatever dosage you are taking (200 or 400mg), space out them out by a minimum of 6 hours.

  • Do not mix with an anti-inflammatory or aspirin

Do not take medication containing an anti-inflammatory drug or aspirin at the same time as ibuprofen.

  • Pay attention to the names of the drugs!

The most common ibuprofen drugs are: Nurofen, Advil, Ibuprofen, Spedifen, Spifen. Do not take them at the same time: you will overdose.

The same is true for drugs containing anti-inflammatory drugs and/or aspirin. Depending on the laboratory, the names may vary. To make sure that you do not mix ibuprofen with any of them, read the package leaflet and the composition of the medicine carefully.

Betsy Wilson

Betsy is a true science nerd, down to the glasses. Her words, not mine! She works as a nurse specializing in pediatric nursing. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about all thing pregnancy and baby-related.