(HealthyResearch.com) – Ibuprofen, a.k.a. Advil, Motrin, Midol, Nuprin, Rufin and Caldolor, is a popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). While it is relatively safe and available over-the-counter, there are some very real concerns regarding the drug. And with 15% of Americans taking too much of it, it’s important to understand the risks associated with it.
- Ibuprofen may cause gastrointestinal side effects. These include upper GI upset, heartburn, nausea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, ulcers and GI bleeds. While the risk increases with dosage, even small doses and short-term use can cause these side effects in certain individuals.
- Some individuals taking ibuprofen may experience depression. Although some studies have shown that this NSAID can be beneficial in fighting depression, it can also have the opposite effect. Depression, fatigue and lethargy are listed as side effects for this drug.
- Taking too much ibuprofen can lead to kidney failure. Ibuprofen can cause sudden kidney failure and progressive kidney damage, especially in those with high blood pressure or kidney disease.
- Ibuprofen can be dangerous for diabetics. Large doses can lead to low blood sugar levels, and diabetics are also at an increased risk of kidney failure.
- Ibuprofen may exacerbate cardiovascular disease. Regular use of NSAIDs can raise your blood pressure and cause heart failure. Extended use may even lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Ibuprofen can interact with certain medications and/or make them less effective. Interaction warnings pertain to hypertension medications, Digoxin, Lithium, SSRIs and Methotrexate, among others.
- Ibuprofen use may increase the risk of kidney cancer. In fact, long-term use was linked to a 50% higher risk. The NSAID has also been linked to an increased risk of death in endometrial cancer patients.
- NSAIDs might cause or worsen fluid retention and edema. This is especially true if it’s taken in conjunction with certain other medications, such as ACE inhibitors and blood pressure medications.
- Ibuprofen should not be taken in late pregnancy. All NSAIDs can cause high blood pressure, labor difficulties and low levels of amniotic fluid.
- Ibuprofen can cause bleeding. Excessive or prolonged use of this NSAID can lead to bleeding, both internally and externally. In addition to GI bleeds, oral bleeds and nose bleeds can occur.
- Iron deficiency anemia may be caused by ibuprofen. This side effect occurs in those who experience GI bleeds and internal bleeding. This risk increases with dosage and treatment duration.
- Ibuprofen could affect your vision. Taking too much of this NSAID can cause blurred vision, vision loss and changes in color perception.
- When taken too frequently or in combination with alcohol, ibuprofen can cause liver failure. This NSAID can cause elevated liver enzymes and potentially lead to toxic hepatitis, which may result in liver failure. The risk is elevated for those with underlying liver disease.
- Severe skin reactions may occur after taking ibuprofen. These can include Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Although rare, these complications can prove to be fatal.
- Ibuprofen can cause hallucinations and induce psychosis. This problem is more common in people with underlying mental health issues.
- Just like all other medications, ibuprofen might lead to severe allergic reactions. Those most at risk are those with allergies to aspirin and other pain relievers. In extremely rare cases, ibuprofen overdose and/or allergic reaction can lead to coma and death.
Ibuprofen is a safe and powerful drug when taken appropriately, but it’s not the best pain medication for everyone. For this reason, it’s important to consult with your doctor about the ibuprofen you take and follow dosing recommendations.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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