Common and Uncommon Ibuprofen Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Common and Uncommon Ibuprofen Side Effects

Ibuprofen is a common over the counter painkiller available as pills, chewable tablets or liquid medication. Sometimes, for extreme pain, a doctor may prescribe massive doses of ibuprofen – usually anything over 500 milligrams per 24 hours. Ibuprofen is also used in combination with some prescription drugs like the narcotic painkiller oxycodone or the ulcer medication famotidine.

Just because this painkiller is widely available doesnÂ’t mean that it is free from side effects. Anyone taking or about to take ibuprofen needs to be aware of common and uncommon ibuprofen side effects.

Common Ibuprofen Side Effects

The most common ibuprofen side effects are upsets of the digestive system. These can usually be avoided by always taking the medication with food or at least a glass of milk. Specific side effects include:

  • Increased flatulence

  • Constipation of diarrhea

  • Cramps from gas, constipation or diarrhea

  • Stomach cramping or other stomach pain

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Heartburn

  • Headache

  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed

  • Water retention

Talk to your doctor if you experience disruptive ibuprofen side effects. You may need a reduction of medication or need to be switched to another painkiller.

Uncommon Ibuprofen Symptoms

There are a host of uncommon ibuprofen side effects that may or may not bother a patient but should be reported to a doctor. These include but are not limited to:

  • Strange, persistent taste in the mouth

  • Extreme drowsiness

  • Feeling giddy and extremely relaxed or “stoned”

  • Sudden asthma attack

  • Hallucination

  • Skin becomes more prone to sunburn

Ibuprofen Allergy Symptoms

Some people can be allergic to ibuprofen. Symptoms appear within a few minutes or hours of taking the first dose. These allergic reactions can cause significant medical complications such as stomach bleeding so these symptoms should be treated as medical emergencies:

  • Vomiting what appears to be coffee grounds but is actually dried blood

  • Problems breathing

  • Sudden, unexplained mood swings

  • Sudden loss of hearing

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes

  • Sudden swelling, peeling or extreme itchiness of the skin, mouth, hands or feet

  • Sudden appearance of hives

  • Unusually dark urine

  • Black feces, unusually pale feces or red blood in feces

  • Problems seeing

  • Problems remaining conscious or understanding what is going on

  • Severe headache or migraine

  • Pains or a feeling of tightness in the chest

  • Sudden appearance of sores in the mouth or lips

  • Bizarre changes in heartbeat

  • Fever that may or may not be accompanied by uncontrollable shivering

  • Sudden stiffness of the neck

  • Numbness in one side of the body or in one limb

  • Weakness on one side of the body

  • Problems speaking due to loss of coordination of the mouth

  • Pains in the joints

  • Pains in the muscles

  • Seizures

Many of these ibuprofen allergy symptoms are also the signs of a stroke, heart attack, a brain aneurysm or meningitis. Patients may be tested for these conditions before being treated for ibuprofen poisoning.

Category: Articles