Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Is Ibuprofen Bad For You?

Also Known As: Advil, Motrin, C13H18O2



Short answer

Ibuprofen has been proven to be effective against pain and inflammation, however, there are serious possible side-effects associated with the drug. If you are taking other medication or have a history of illness, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor before using.



Long answer

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used for the management of pain and inflammation. It works by reducing the hormones that cause pain and inflammation. While Ibuprofen is effective in treating pain and inflammation, there are several things that consumers should be aware of. First, Ibuprofen has several possible side-effects, not all of which are listed here. The most common of these include upset stomach, mild heartburn, nausea, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, among others. More serious side effects include rapid weight gain, loss of appetite, numbness, and seizure. While Ibuprofen has not been found to cause physical addiction, people who use more than the minimum dose necessary may find themselves developing tolerance to the drug whereby they use the drug even when it is not needed and develop a mental addiction. Withdraw from Ibuprofen for such people may involve agitation, nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression, and increased pain levels. For the above reasons, it is very important to be sure to use Ibuprofen carefully. Only the minimum needed dose should be used. Also, people who use the following should consult a doctor before using Ibuprofen: antidepressants, lithium, methotrexate, diuretics, medicine for heart disease and/or blood pressure, other NSAIDs. Lastly, it is important to note taking excessive amounts of ibuprofen at one time have the potential to cause stroke, heart attack, stomach ulcers, and other serious health complications.  

Possible short-term side effects

  • mild heartburn
  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • jaundice
  • seizure (if taken in excessive amounts)

Possible withdrawal symptoms

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • increased awareness of pain


  • treats inflammation
  • treats pain
  • metabolizes quickly

Healthier alternatives

  • white willow bark
  • cats claw
  • boswellia
  • capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili peppers)
  • essential oils

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-01-2016
Last updated: 11-28-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-01-2016
Last updated: 11-28-2023

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