Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This is why it is used to relieve pain from various conditions such as headache, dental pain, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, arthritis, fever, or minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu.This medication may also be used to treat gout attacks.
How to use ibuprofen
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ibuprofen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually every 4 to 6 hours with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If you have stomach upset while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed by your doctor or the package label. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed by your doctor.
When ibuprofen is used by children, the dose is based on the child’s weight. Read the package directions to find the proper dose for your child’s weight. Consult the pharmacist or doctor if you have questions or if you need help choosing a nonprescription product.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug “as needed” (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away. If you are using the nonprescription product to treat yourself or a child for fever or pain, consult the doctor right away if fever worsens or lasts more than 3 days, or if pain worsens or lasts more than 10 days.