Avoid Taking Ibuprofen At All Costs If You've Experienced This Medical Event

If you have a headache or pain, most of you can easily reach for your bottle of ibuprofen without worry. Like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen works by limiting the chemicals in your body that produce pain, inflammation, and fever (per HealthDirect). Some people can't take ibuprofen because it interacts with their medication. People on medication for high blood pressure might find that ibuprofen can interfere with their medication. Taking ibuprofen if you're also taking blood thinners like warfarin could increase your bleeding risk. You could also tear up your stomach lining if you drink alcohol while taking ibuprofen (per Alcohol and Drug Foundation).

Ibuprofen isn't great for your heart if you take high doses of it, according to a 2013 article in Advances in Therapy. While a typical dose of ibuprofen is one or two 200-milligram pills every four hours, taking 2,400 milligrams a day could increase your risk of a cardiovascular event. Even taking 1,200 milligrams of ibuprofen could limit the heart-protecting effect of aspirin. If you've had a heart attack, you should avoid taking ibuprofen altogether.

ibuprofen and heart attacks

A 2011 meta-analysis in BMJ says that taking ibuprofen increases your risk of heart attack by 61%. If you weren't taking ibuprofen before your heart attack, you probably shouldn't start, according to a 2023 article in the European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Pharmacology. The study found that those who started using NSAIDs after their heart attack had a higher risk of experiencing a new heart attack, being admitted to the hospital for heart failure, or dying compared to those who didn't take NSAIDs.

People who've experienced a heart attack might want to avoid ibuprofen or other NSAIDs because they can increase the risk of bleeding, according to a 2020 article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that taking ibuprofen after having a heart attack increases your risk of bleeding threefold compared to if you didn't take the NSAID. If you need to take an NSAID, celecoxib (Celebrex) and meloxicam are safer options. GoodRx says that Tylenol is safe to use for pain, but like NSAIDs, you should avoid taking large doses.

Other people who should avoid taking ibuprofen

The National Health Service cautions against taking ibuprofen for people over 65. Those with conditions like asthma, kidney or liver problems, autoimmune disease, or cardiovascular conditions should also consider how ibuprofen might impact their condition. People with heart failure, liver disease, or a history of a stomach ulcer should avoid taking ibuprofen.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation says that any drug has risks and side effects. The suggested dose for ibuprofen might have different effects depending on your body size, overall health, previous use, and other medications you might be taking with it. Ibuprofen's side effects include dizziness, thirst, tingling in your hands or feet, blurred vision, or gastrointestinal issues. It's not recommended to take ibuprofen for a long time because it can cause problems with hearing, kidney or liver damage, or stomach bleeding. Also, Baltimore's Mercy Hospital says you shouldn't take ibuprofen daily for more than 30 days.