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What are the Side Effects of Nurofen?

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
What are the Side Effects of Nurofen?
A customer in a drug store talking to a pharmacist. Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


Nurofen is an over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient ibuprofen, a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Typically, this medication is used to alleviate pain or fever symptoms in affected people. Nurofen is marketed under the brand name Motrin in the United States. People should be aware of the potential side effects of Nurofen before using this pain relieving medication.

Upset Stomach

Treatment with Nurofen may induce upset stomach side effects in certain people. Stomach-related side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, indigestion or vomiting, NetDoctor reports. Though Nurofen can be taken on an empty stomach, eating a small snack or meal prior to dosing can help limit the severity or development of stomach upset side effects in certain patients.

Bowel Movement Changes

Uncomfortable bowel movement changes may arise following treatment with Nurofen. Affected people may experience difficulty producing a bowel movement, also called constipation, or may alternatively develop urgent, frequent bowel movements, also called diarrhea, Drugs.com warns. These bowel movement changes may be accompanied by abdominal cramping, bloating or a diminished appetite. If people notice blood in their stools while receiving treatment with this medication, they should contact a doctor. Bloody stools may be a sign of intestinal damage or bleeding.

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Headache or Dizziness

Nurofen use may cause head pain or dizziness in treated people. Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially upon sitting up or standing, may lead to injury from tripping or falling down. Head pain may also be disruptive and can affect a person's ability to focus or concentrate while at work or school. People who experience severe dizziness or headache pain after taking Nurofen should seek medical care immediately, Drugs.com advises.

Allergic Reaction

This medication may cause severe allergic reaction side effects in people who are hypersensitive to certain types of medication, such as aspirin or NSAIDs. Allergic reaction symptoms include swelling of the face or throat, severe skin rash and breathing difficulties, NetDoctor reports. People who develop any of these potentially life-threatening side effects after taking a dose of Nurofen should be transported to an emergency medical care provider immediately.

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