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Ibuprofen Drug Side Effects

author image Maria Ledbetter
With a master's in journalism and nursing, Maria Ledbetter is an active writer with several online publications. She has contributed more than 700 articles to various magazines and newspapers around the world, including the "Tuscaloosa News."
Ibuprofen Drug Side Effects
Ibuprofen is available as an over-the-counter medication as well as with a prescription. Photo Credit: dina2001/iStock/Getty Images

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This medication is generally used to treat mild or moderate pain due to inflammation, swelling, stiffness and even joint pain. Ibuprofen is also used to treat common aches and pains such as fever, arthritis pain and menstrual cramps. While this medication works really well to relieve many different types of pain, there can be some unintended and unwanted ibuprofen drug side effects. Knowing what these side effects are will help consumers determine if ibuprofen is a safe drug option.

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Stomach Upset

Those who are having an adverse reaction to ibuprofen may have abdominal pain, a sour stomach, or they may experience more belching or burping than normal. The patient who is having unintended ibuprofen drug side effects may also complain of diarrhea, constipation, or a full feeling in the stomach. The passing of gas, indigestion, vomiting, or nausea are also possible side effects associated with ibuprofen.

Skin Irritation

Itchy skin is experienced by some who take ibuprofen. Less likely is a skin rash, although some individuals experience a rash with flat or slightly raised lesions on the skin varying from pink to red in color.

Urinary Complications

Some of the ibuprofen drug side effects also affect the appearance of the urine or the ability to urinate. Cloudy urine, a decrease in urine output, or decreases in the volume of urine are all potential side effects associated with ibuprofen.

Respiratory Involvement

Though it is rare, it is possible to have respiratory side effects associated with the use of ibuprofen. Noisy, rattling breathing may occur in addition to a shortness of breath, trouble breathing while at rest, and trouble breathing with exertion.


Swelling can be a side effect of ibuprofen. The swelling of the ankles, legs, feet, hands, fingers, or face can occur. This can be dangerous, especially if the swelling involves the respiratory area. If the throat or the tongue begins to swell, one should immediately seek medical treatment.

Rare Side Effects

There are some more rare side effects associated with the use of ibuprofen. Some of these side effects include bleeding gums, blistering of the skin, blood in the urine, blood in the stools, or blurred vision. Additional rare side effects include a burning feeling in the chest or stomach, chest pain, chills, confusion, dark urine, cough, hoarseness or even coma.

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