Painkillers, ibuprofen – Side effects
Ibuprofen can cause a number of side effects.
For this reason, take lowest possible dose of ibuprofen for the shortest possible time needed to control your symptoms.
Common side effects of ibuprofen include:
nausea (feeling sick)
vomiting (being sick)
diarrhoea (passing loose, watery stools)
abdominal (tummy) pain
Less common side effects include:
fluid retention (bloating)
raised blood pressure
gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)
duodenal or gastric ulcers (open sores in the digestive system, see Peptic ulcer)
allergic reactions, such as a rash
worsening of asthma symptoms by causing bronchospasm (narrowing of airways)
Less common side effects can also include malaena (black stools) and haematemesis (blood in your vomit). These side effects can indicate that there is bleeding in your stomach.
See the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine or the ibuprofen medicines information section for a full list of side effects.
If you feel unwell after taking ibuprofen or have concerns about an ibuprofen side effect, seek advice from your GP or pharmacist .
Taking ibuprofen, particularly at high doses over long periods of time, can increase your risk of:
stroke, when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed
heart attacks, when the blood supply to the heart is blocked
In females, long-term use of ibuprofen can sometimes be associated with reduced fertility. This is usually reversible when you stop taking ibuprofen.
Ability to drive
Ibuprofen is unlikely to affect your ability to drive safely, although some people may feel dizzy after taking ibuprofen. If you experience dizziness, do not drive.