Medically the review by Alan Carter, Pharm.D., specialty in pharmacology — created by Malini Ghoshal, RPh, ms on December 11, 2019

Ibuprofen is one of the most typical over-the-counter (OTC) medications used come treat pain, inflammation, and also fever. It’s been about for nearly 50 years.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroid anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID), and works by impede cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme activity. COX task is responsible because that prostaglandin production.

Whether ibuprofen is safe to take it on an north stomach really counts on the individual and specific risk factors.

Let’s take a closer look in ~ the best method to take it ibuprofen to enhance symptoms if minimizing risks.

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Ibuprofen has a low danger of leading to severe cradle (GI) side effects overall. However, threats do exist and also depend ~ above a who age, length of use, dosage, and any existing wellness concerns.

Ibuprofen can impact prostaglandin levels and cause GI next effects. One duty of prostaglandin is that is stomach protection. The reduces stomach acid and increases rubber production.

When ib frames is take away in big doses or because that a lengthy time, much less prostaglandin is produced. This deserve to increase stomach acid and also irritate the stomach lining, resulting in problems.

GI side results can rely on number of factors, including:

Dose. Taking higher doses for lengthy periods of time boosts the dangers of GI-related problems. Other health conditions. Having certain health conditions, such as the following, can increase dangers of side effects or disadvantage reactions: history of GI complaintsbleeding ulcers Individual factors. Older civilization have a higher risk that GI and other side effects with ibuprofen use. Be certain to talk about ibuprofen’s benefits versus any type of risks v your doctor prior to taking this medication. If you have actually heart, kidney, high blood pressure, or various other chronic clinical conditions, ask your doctor around ibuprofen use.

There space two distinct varieties of COX, and they have different effects ~ above the body. COX-2, as soon as activated, block prostaglandin release in solution to pain, fever, and also inflammation. COX-1 has a protective impact on the stomach lining and surrounding cells.

Ibuprofen influence both COX-1 and also COX-2 activity, offering symptom relief and at the exact same time increasing risks of particular side effects.

When you take a medication deserve to make a distinction with absorption, effectiveness, and also side effects. This includes taking it with food or top top an north stomach.

One the the obstacles with ibuprofen is that as soon as you take it it orally, it doesn’t absorb quickly. That takes roughly 30 minutes to work. This matters as soon as you want instant pain relief.


Ibuprofen can cause several GI side effects, including:

bleedingtear in the stomach, tiny intestine, or huge intestinecrampsfeeling of fullnessgas

Upper and also lower GI dangers must it is in considered before using ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is no recommended if there’s a reduced GI risk, even with proton pump inhibitor medicines like Nexium as protection.

Risks that GI side impacts are higher with:

history of indigestion or heartburnalcohol use, as it deserve to irritate the stomach lining, and using ibuprofen v alcohol have the right to increase the risks of bleeding in the stomach

Remember, some medications connect with ibuprofen and health conditions. Be certain to comment on the best alternatives to reduced your threat of GI difficulties with your physician first.

If you endure mild symptoms of stomach upset, certain protective medications might help:

Caution: Don’t take multiple varieties of acid reducers at the very same time. If her symptoms don’t improve or acquire worse, talk to her doctor.


The best means to take it ibuprofen depends on her age and also risk factors. Studies present taking ibuprofen through a stomach protectant such as a PPI is one effective means to protect against peptic ulcers, if you’re taking it in greater doses because that a lengthy time.

If you’re acquisition ibuprofen for temporary pain relief and also have no hazard factors, friend may have the ability to take that on an empty stomach to get faster symptom improvement. A protectant comprise magnesium may assist with quicker relief.


It’s crucial to seek clinical attention right away if you:

have black tarry stoolsare vomiting bloodhave major stomach painhave persistent nausea and also vomitinghave blood in your urinehave chest painhave trouble through breathingIF you have an allergic reaction

Call 911 right away if friend experience:

rashswelling the face, tongue, throat, or lipsdifficulty breathingwheezing

Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common problem reported with ibuprofen. It’s crucial to understand serious or significant GI problems, such together bleeding, can take place without any warning signs.

Be certain to discuss your background of GI-related comes to with your health care provider prior to taking ib frames on her own. If she pregnant, speak to her doctor before taking ibuprofen.

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In limited cases, for quick relief of ache symptoms, acquisition ibuprofen on an empty stomach may be fine. A magnesium-containing antacid may offer part protection and help carry out faster relief.

For permanent use, it’s helpful to take a protectant to avoid GI next effects. In part cases, your medical professional will pick a different medication option.


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Medically the review by Alan Carter, Pharm.D., specialty in pharmacology — composed by Malini Ghoshal, RPh, multiple sclerosis on December 11, 2019