All about Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen, a very popular and worldwide used anti-pain medication was discovered by Dr. Stewart Adams. It was developed by the Boots Group of Phamaceuticals in the 1960’s. How marvelous. I wonder if Dr. Adams did have a terrible headache while he was doing his research. His hardwork and research has benefitted the world in saving themselves from headache. A person cannot work effectively when in pain.

Pain Relief?

Analgesics are medicines that are used for pain relief. The two types of analgesics are narcotic and non-narcotic pain relievers. Ibuprofen, a non-narcotic analgesic, is a common drug used in households as a treatment for pain but it can also be used for symptoms of fever and inflammation. Ibuprofen common brand names such as Motrin IB, Nuprin, Advil, and Medipren can be purchased as OTC or over-the-counter drugs because they are not addictive. All non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have an analgesic effect, as well as an antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effect. They can be used for a wide range of pain situations such as headaches, dysmenorrheal or menstrual pain, inflammation, minor abrasions, muscular aches and pain and mild to moderate arthritis. Ibuprofen is considered the most widely used NSAID. The maximum dosage per day of the over-the-counter Ibuprofen preparation is up to 1200mg. The drug is metabolized in the liver and excreted through the kidneys.

Mechanism of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen effectively fights pain by inhibiting the hormone, prostaglandin, which is responsible for pain, inflammation, and fever. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances found in many tissues and organs that  promote inflammatory responses, pain, and fever. They also support platelet function and protect the stomach lining that is why when Ibuprofen inhibits prostaglandin, stomach upset may be a result of the drug’s side effect. Traditional NSAIDS such as the Ibuprofen inhibit cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 receptors, by blocking cyclooxygenase-2, they may damage the lining of the stomach, causing gastrointestinal disturbances, distress, stomach bleeding and ulcers, and altered platelet function.

Advantages of Ibuprofen

NSAIDs such as the Ibuprofen provide temporary relief from mild to moderate pain. They are also used adjunctively to manage cancer pain—especially with patients with bone metastasis. NSAIDS may be prescribed for managing osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in long term treatments. They can be taken orally as preparations are in tablet or capsule. They are generally available without a prescription since they do not cause central nervous system or respiratory depression when used in therapeutic doses.

Disadvantages and Side Effects of Ibuprofen

There is no adequate information or study about the teratogenic effect of Ibuprofen on pregnant women therefore, this drug is not recommended for pregnant women. Ibuprofen is well-tolerated among most people but a number common side effects of Ibuprofen are rashes, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, heartburns. Serious side effects or complicationsof Ibuprofen are vertigo, fluid retention in the body tissues, increased blood pressure, allergic reactions, nausea and vomiting, ulceration or the stomach lining or the intestinal lining that may lead to bleeding.  Sometimes, ulceration and bleeding may occur even without the signs and symptoms of abdominal pain, black tarry stools, body weakness, and orthostatic hypotension. Ibuprofen is excreted in the kidneys so the renal side effects include reduction of blood flow to the kidneys and impaired function of the kidneys. The impairment is more common to people with pre-existing kidney function impairments. The impairment may most likely occur in users with pre-existing impaired kidney function or congestive heart failure. These impairments may most likely predispose the patient to dialysis. People with asthma are not advised to use this drug because they are most likely to have allergic reactions to the drug as well as in other NSAIDS. Ibuprofen may affect coagulation and may increase the risk for serious heart problems such as heart attacks as in elderly people who use this drug. Other medications that are currently used by the person should be initially evaluated to avoid drug interactions. There is a drug-to-drug interaction between the use of Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Ibuprofen affecting aspirin’s ability to inhibit platelet clumping or aggregation can lead to fatal blood clots and may predispose the patient to serious diseases such as stroke.

It is a must to take the medication with or after intake of food to avoid gastrointestinal disturbances such as stomach pain, ulceration or the stomach lining or intestinal lining, and heartburn. Rare side effects of Ibuprofen are visual disturbances, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, and narrowing of the airways, which can be very dangerous.

Common Brand Names

The common brand names of the generic drug Ibuprofen are Advil, Motrin, Anadin, Brufen, Cuprofen, Nurofen, Alaxan, and Arthrofen. Topical cream or spray preparations of Ibuprofen common brands are Ibuleve, Fenbid gel, Radian B, Ibugel, Ibuspray and Proflex cream.



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