Generic Name: ibuprofen (eye-bue-PROE-fen)
NSAIDs increase the risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. Ibuprofen is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. NSAIDs also cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. Risk is especially increased in the elderly and in patients with prior peptic ulcer disease or GI bleeding .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on June 6, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Analgesic
Pharmacologic Class: NSAID
Chemical Class: Propionic Acid (class)
Uses for ibuprofen
Ibuprofen injection is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used alone or together with other medicines (eg, opioid analgesics) to relieve mild to severe pain. It is also used to treat fever.
Ibuprofen is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using ibuprofen
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ibuprofen, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ibuprofen or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ibuprofen injection in children younger than 6 months of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ibuprofen injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, heart, or stomach problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving ibuprofen injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving ibuprofen, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using ibuprofen with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using ibuprofen with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Bismuth Subsalicylate
- Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate
- Choline Salicylate
- Dabigatran Etexilate
- Ethacrynic Acid
- Flufenamic Acid
- Magnesium Salicylate
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
- Phenyl Salicylate
- Protein C
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
- Trolamine Salicylate
Using ibuprofen with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Azilsartan Medoxomil
- Candesartan Cilexetil
- Olmesartan Medoxomil
- Perindopril Erbumine
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ibuprofen. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anemia or
- Bleeding problems or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Dehydration or
- Edema (fluid retention) or
- Heart attack, recent or
- Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume) or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease or
- Stomach ulcers or bleeding, history of or
- Stroke, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Aspirin-sensitive asthma or
- Aspirin sensitivity, history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Heart surgery (eg, coronary artery bypass graft [CABG])—Should not be used for pain right before or after surgery.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—May cause side effects to become worse.
Proper use of ibuprofen
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child ibuprofen in a hospital. Ibuprofen is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using ibuprofen. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
Precautions while using ibuprofen
It is very important that your doctor check your progress while you or your child receives ibuprofen. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Ibuprofen may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This is more likely to occur in people who already have heart disease. People who use ibuprofen for a long time might also have a higher risk. Tell your doctor if you or your child has chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, slurred speech, unusual sweating, or faintness.
Ibuprofen may increase risk of bleeding problems. including bleeding in your stomach or intestines. This problem can happen without warning signs. This is more likely to occur if you have had a stomach ulcer in the past, if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, are over 60 years of age, are in poor health, or are using certain other medicines (such as steroids or a blood thinner).
Liver problems may occur while you are using ibuprofen. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness, clay-colored stools, dark urine, decreased appetite, fever, headache, itching, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, skin rash, swelling of the feet or lower legs, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.
If you or your child are rapidly gaining weight, having shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, irregular breathing, irregular heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet, check with your doctor immediately. These may be symptoms of heart problems or your body keeping too much water.
Ibuprofen may cause kidney damage. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child has the following symptoms: blood in the urine, decreased urine output, confusion, dizziness, headache, muscle twitching, rapid weight gain, swelling of your face, ankles, or hands, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Hyperkalemia may occur while you are receiving ibuprofen. Call your doctor right away if you or your child has confusion, weakness, uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
Ibuprofen may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you get the injection.
Serious skin reactions can occur with ibuprofen. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, a severe skin rash or acne, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using ibuprofen.
Using ibuprofen while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in color vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you or your child to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child starts to have a stiff neck, drowsiness, fever, severe headache, nausea or vomiting, painful eye movements, or eye sensitivity to light. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called aseptic meningitis syndrome (AMS).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Ibuprofen side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blurred vision
- chest pain
- coughing up blood
- decreased urine
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- dry mouth
- fast heartbeat
- fever or chills
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle pain or cramps
- muscle twitching
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- pain, warmth, or burning in the fingers, toes, and legs
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pounding in the ears
- problems with vision or hearing
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- rapid breathing
- red or black, tarry stools
- red or dark brown urine
- slow or fast heartbeat
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- swollen glands
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- decrease in the frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- rapid weight gain
- unusual weight gain or loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- full feeling
- passing gas
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- acid or sour stomach
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
- Can you take Ibuprofen if you have COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
- Meloxicam vs Ibuprofen, what's the difference?
- Aleve vs Ibuprofen: What's the difference?
- What's the best sore throat medicine to use?
- What is the difference between aspirin and ibuprofen?
- Naproxen vs ibuprofen: What's the difference?
- Is ibuprofen (Advil) a blood thinner?
- Acetaminophen vs ibuprofen: What is the difference?
- What is the best way to reduce swelling in your face?
- I just took 800 mg ibuprofen and 30 mg of prednisone. Is that going to be ok?
- Is it safe to take Ibuprofen (Advil) with acetaminophen (Tylenol)?
- Can you take ibuprofen with antibiotics?
- Why is diclofenac only available on prescription but ibuprofen can be bought over the counter?
- How long do I wait after taking 400 mg ibuprofen to take 15 mg of meloxicam?
- How often can you take ibuprofen?
More about ibuprofen
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 188 Reviews
- Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- FDA Alerts (13)
- Patient Information
- Ibuprofen injection
- Ibuprofen (Advanced Reading)
- Ibuprofen lysine Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.