Ibruprofen, as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is often used for headaches, fever, pain and other types of inflammation. Some athletes, primarily in the track and field or cross-country sports, are recommended to imbibe the drug before participating strenuous activity in order to reduce the swelling afterward. Some people have wondered "how much ibuprofen is too much?" Overall, it is a relatively cheap drug, especially in knock-off versions, and one that a majority of people use (up to 70% of people), but like any substance, it is possible to have serious negative side effects when ingesting too much.
How Much Ibuprofen Is Too Much?
When using any drug, it is important to follow either your doctor’s recommendation or the introduction on the label if it is an over the counter drug. Belonging to the latter category, Ibuprofen is typically sold in 200mg doses. This medicine can be taken in either the pill form, which is the most common, or it can be taken intravenously.
How much ibuprofen is too much? That ultimately depends on several factors: the dosage of the ibuprofen pills and the severity of the pain, or on the medical condition. Doctors have recommended the following dosage guidelines for the treatment of fever, menstrual cramps, pain and arthritis.
For fever, the Ibuprofen dosage for 2 years of age and older must be recommended by a doctor.
And for children between 6 months and 2 years of age, the appropriate dosage is determined based upon the body temperature and weight.
Besides, if the fever is under 102.5° F, the recommended dosage is 5mg per 2.2lbs. With higher fevers, the dosage increases to 10mg per 4.5lbs. Manufacturers recommend to give a new dose every 6-8 hours until the fever is reduced, but bear in mind that no more than 40mg Ibuprofen should be used in one day.
For menstrual cramps, manufacturers recommend a 400mg dose every 4 hours in adults, whereas the dosage and consistency must be determined by a doctor for teens.
For pain in children, you have to follow a similar guideline. Consult your doctor for proper dosage. The dosage can be taken every 6-8 hours and ranges from 30-40mg/kg per day. For adults and teenagers, manufacturers recommend a 400mg dosage every 4-6 hours.
For arthritis (both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis), doctors recommend 3-4 doses totaling 1200-3200mg. The guideline for children follows those mentioned in the previous paragraph.
What If I Miss a Dosage or Take Too Much Ibuprofen?
Missed doses and extra doses are concerns with every medicine, and Ibuprofen is no different. When you miss a dose, consult the directions on the bottle or the instructions from your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on the directions, it may be possible to take the missed dosage as soon as possible. Sometimes if it is almost time for your second dose, you can just skip that dosage altogether. Typically, Ibuprofen should be taken 3-4 times throughout the day.
When the ingestion of an extra dose occurs, skip the next dose in order to exceed the maximum 24-dosage. Some symptoms caused from ingesting too much Ibuprofen include pain in the upper parts of the stomach, tinnitus (a ringing in one or both ear), nausea and vomiting. If concerned about ingesting too much Ibuprofen or feeling particularly unwell, call your doctor or pharmacist or seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Precautions about Taking Ibuprofen
Precautions Before Taking Ibuprofen
Additionally, some are allergic to Ibuprofen and should avoid it in all cost. Those about to have a CABG, or coronary artery bypass graft, also should refrain from using Ibuprofen.
It increase your risk of heart diseases, like heart attacks, strokes, and blood clotting, not to mention developing hypertension or elevating an already high blood pressure level.
It can cause considerable damage to the lining of the stomach, with an increased risk of stomach ulcers and heartburn. Some of these symptoms can be fatal and occur without any warning symptoms.
Consult a doctor about using Ibuprofen if there is a history of asthma or strong allergic reaction to NSAIDs or aspirin, congestive heart failure, a recent heart attack, smoke, a heavy drinker, systemic lupus erythematous, low red blood cell count, increased pressure in the skull or bleeding disorders.
Elderly Should Be More Cautious
For the elderly, Ibuprofen can increase the risk of falling and cause sleepiness, confusion and severe stomach problems.
It can also lead to a risky intestinal bleeding, which often can occur in old age.
Additionally, Ibuprofen doesn't work well with medications for kidney failure or for the heart; the latter are prescribed for many elderly individuals.
Conversely, the low doses that Ibuprofen provides have proven to be safer than the other NSAID alternatives.
How to Take Ibuprofen If You Are Pregnant
Many pregnant women wonder how much ibuprofen is safe during this chapter of life. Ibuprofen can harm the baby. Even if your baby is up to week 30, the drug can still expose your baby to some risk. After 30 weeks, it should only be used in extreme cases. Ibuprofen may lead to birth defects by causing a major artery that supports the baby's heart to close to soon. It should likewise be avoided during the breastfeeding stage, as it has been found in breast milk