How Much Ibuprofen Should You Take?

You probably have at least one bottle of ibuprofen in your medicine cabinet right now. This affordable drug is one of the most common pain-relievers on the market. According to WebMD, Ibuprofen is categorized as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This means that it works by stopping the body from producing substances that can cause inflammation in the body, which in turn helps to decrease pain, swelling, and fever. Ibuprofen is usually used to treat ailments like cramps, headaches, dental pain, and arthritis.

Like with any drug, ibuprofen comes with negative side effects if you take too much. It is important to take the correct dosage to avoid any complications. According to Mayo Clinic, the amount of ibuprofen you should take will depend on the strength of the medicine, the severity of the health issue you are treating, and your doctor's orders. It is strongly recommended that you contact your child's doctor about dosage recommendations when treating children to avoid accidentally giving them too much. To treat mild to moderate pain, adults and teenagers should take no more than 400 milligrams every four to six hours. If this dosage does not treat your pain, speak to a doctor before taking more. Arthritis is usually treated with much higher doses of ibuprofen, but you should talk to your doctor before taking more than 400 milligrams at a time.

Side effects of taking too much ibuprofen

It is possible to overdose on ibuprofen. Symptoms are usually mild but should be taken seriously. These symptoms include ringing in the ears, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, and blurred vision (via Healthline). Serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, seizures, and severe headache. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek emergency medical care right away.

Ibuprofen can have negative effects on your health even if you do not overdose. Taking this drug frequently throughout your life can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke (via Healthline). It can also decrease kidney function over time and put you at risk of dehydration, dizziness, and high blood pressure. Taking large amounts of ibuprofen consistently can also increase your risk of developing stomach ulcers or bleeding in your stomach. Although ibuprofen is a widely studied drug and considered safe to use in moderate doses, you need to be careful that you don't take more than necessary.