Side effects of ibuprofen

What are the side effects of ibuprofen?

Like all medicines, ibuprofen can cause side effects including:

  • stomach upset (e.g. nausea, diarrhoea or indigestion)
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • high blood pressure
  • fluid retention.

When used for long periods of time, ibuprofen may cause damage to the stomach (e.g. stomach ulcers or bleeding) and can cause kidney problems.

Take ibuprofen only when needed and at the lowest recommended dose that improves symptoms, for the shortest time possible. Adults must not take more than a total of 2400 mg over a 24-hour period.

Stop taking ibuprofen and tell your doctor immediately if you develop:

  • breathing difficulties
  • swollen ankles
  • dark coffee-coloured vomit
  • black stools.

Who can I ask about side effects?

If you’re concerned that you or someone in your care may have had side effects related to a medicine, seek medical advice. People with questions about their medicines or seeking general information about side effects can also call the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 633 424 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).To report possible side effects call the Adverse Medicine Events (AME) line on 1300 134 237 from anywhere in Australia (Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm AEST).

It’s important that you tell your health professional about all the medicines you are taking — including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins or mineral supplements) medicines — as they may interact with ibuprofen.

Keep a list of all your medicines and take it with you when you visit the doctor or pharmacist.

Find out more about ibuprofen, who can take ibuprofen and the interactions with ibuprofen.