3. Risk Factors
Toxicity from overdose or overuse of ibuprofen is rare, but it can happen. A few common risk factors for ibuprofen toxicity are age, medical condition, alcohol use, and smoking. As the body ages, the liver and kidneys are exposed to more toxins and experience some wear. The organs that typically filter toxins out of the body have to work harder as people get older. Therefore, older adults tend to experience ibuprofen toxicity more often than younger people.
Alcohol and smoking also raise the risks of adverse ibuprofen effects. Tobacco and alcohol are toxins to the human body. They require the kidneys and liver to filter it from the body, wearing the body’s filter action system down.
When other toxins and chemicals, like ibuprofen, are added to the collection, they may not be filtered out efficiently. This can lead to a buildup of ibuprofen, causing a toxic amount to accumulate. Tobacco and alcohol also change the body’s cardiovascular system, making the body more at risk for the harmful effects of drugs.
2. Responsible Use of Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter-medication that can be useful in many ways. However, as with any medication, taking it responsibly is the key to its effectiveness and safety. Take ibuprofen only as directed by a physician or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Resist the temptation to take more than the required dosage. Find other alternatives or call your physician. Be aware of how often you are taking ibuprofen and for how many days. Many ibuprofen overdoses don’t occur as a one-time dose. Most happen due to the overuse of ibuprofen over days, weeks, or months.
Before using ibuprofen and other medication, individuals who already have liver or kidney complications, or cardiovascular disease, should seek approval from a healthcare professional.
1. When to See a Doctor
For a complete list of severe side effects stemming from ibuprofen, consult the U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. A comprehensive list is available for reference. Aside from those listed previously in this article, some other side effects to watch for are:
- Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, or hands
- Cloudy or bloody urine or stool
- Red, painful eyes
- Stiff neck
- Fast heartbeat
MedlinePlus also directs any emergency or severe overdose events to call crisis or the poison control hotline. Call emergency or poison control for the following symptoms:
- Uncontrollable eye movements
- Blue tinge around the lips, eyes, and mouth