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This is what happens when you take ibuprofen for 30 days straight, according to doctors — Best Life

This is what happens when you take ibuprofen for 30 days straight, according to doctors — Best Life

Motrin, Midol, Advil, and Addaprin—all are brand names for the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen, and many of us keep a bottle or two of the drug in bathroom in case of headache, cramps or other minor ailments. In addition to the over-the-counter (OTC) version, there was also a prescription ibuprofen 38. the most prescribed medicine in the US since 2020, so many of us take it. But just because it’s popular and easy to get, does that mean it’s safe to take every day? We asked the doctor. Read on to see what might happen to your body if you take this medicine every day for a month or more.

READ THIS NEXT: I am a pharmacist and this is a drug I always warn patients about.

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Bayo Curry-WinchellM.D., emergency medical director and attending physician at Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital, shared with The best life, “As an urgent care and family medicine physician, I often recommend a short course of ibuprofen to my patients because it can help relieve symptoms such as fever, headache, and/or body aches. However, prolonged use of the drug can cause serious complications.” One of them is tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. Curry-Winchell says tinnitus can be caused “by ibuprofen reducing the amount of blood flowing to the inner ear”.

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Reema HammoudPharmD and AVP of Clinical Pharmacy at Sedgwick, explains that even OTC versions of ibuprofen can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems “such as stomach bleeding or stomach ulcers.” Ibuprofen is a known factor in the development of open ulcers on the inside of the stomach, known as peptic ulcers.

Curry-Winchell also notes the potential for stomach pain as a result of long-term use of ibuprofen. “Ibuprofen interferes with the stomach’s ability to digest food, causing damage to the lining of your stomach,” she says. “This can result in symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, constant belching and stomach cramps.”

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According to GoodRx Health, other potential gastrointestinal side effects of ibuprofen include constipation and diarrhea. “[The] the longer you take ibuprofen, the higher your risk of developing serious gastrointestinal side effects,” say their experts.

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“Yes, [ibuprofen] can affect your breathing,” Curry-Winchell explains, “by reducing airflow in your respiratory system, especially if you have a condition like asthma.”

Liver complications
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Your liver plays a key role in how your body metabolizes ibuprofen, and some studies have shown small increases in liver enzymes (which can indicate inflammation or damage) in people who take ibuprofen frequently. Although liver toxicity from ibuprofen is uncommon, according to Hammoud, “for those at risk for liver disease, monitoring and dose adjustments may be necessary.”

READ THIS NEXT: I am a pharmacist and this is a drug I always warn patients about.

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According to Curry-Winchell, chronic use of ibuprofen reduces the amount of blood delivered to the kidneys. “Less blood flow leads to kidney damage and ultimately long-term kidney disease.” Hammoud similarly explains, “NSAIDs are primarily excreted by the kidneys, so kidney toxicity is a major concern” when it comes to ibuprofen.

The National Kidney Foundation is clear: long-term use of analgesics (certain pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen “can cause a chronic kidney disease known as chronic interstitial nephritis.” If you check the warning labels on OTC ibuprofen, they should tell you not to use the drug for more than 10 days for pain (or three days for fever). This is especially true for all with reduced kidney function.

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It may sound counterintuitive, but ibuprofen can actually give you a headache, even though it’s usually used to help make a headache go away. “Rebound headaches” or “overuse headaches” are rare but can occur if you take ibuprofen (or other pain relievers) for too many days in a row, according to Mayo Clinic.

Fortunately, there is good news: “Medication overuse headaches usually stop when you stop taking your pain medication,” their experts write. “It’s tough in the short term, but your doctor can help you beat the headache of overuse for long-term relief.”

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“Long-term use and larger amounts of ibuprofen can reduce blood flow to your organs,” Curry-Winchell explains. “This can lead to increased blood pressure, putting extra stress on the heart and increasing the risk of a heart attack.”

Experts from the University of California San Francisco Health describe the risk like this: “Ibuprofen… can cause existing hypertension (high blood pressure) to worsen significantly or develop new high blood pressure. It can also cause… heart failure to worsen and even heart attack or stroke.” They also point out that ibuprofen has an “FDA black box alert warning of ‘potentially fatal’ cardiovascular events.”

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“Ibuprofen is a great drug when used in the right way,” says Curry-Winchell. “The drug can help reduce and sometimes prevent pain and swelling associated with surgery, and help treat injuries such as sudden back pain when you wake up or the inability to stand after bending awkwardly.”

However, for all the above reasons, it is not good for your health to use ibuprofen for 30 days in a row to treat the same pain. Hammoud explains, “Chronic use of most drugs is not ideal. The idea is always to treat with the lowest dose of drug taken for the shortest possible time.”

When long-term medication is needed, the best course of action is to move forward under your doctor’s guidance. “[Long]”terminal use of prescription NSAIDs is fine as long as the patient is monitored,” says Hammoud, explaining that often those who must take NSAIDs for a long period of time can be given proton pump inhibitor like Prevacid or Prilosec, “which coat the stomach and help relieve side effects.”

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended as a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to medications you are taking or any other health concerns you may have, always contact your doctor directly.



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