How many 200mg ibuprofen I can take?

Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication. It goes by brand names like Advil and Motrin. When used as directed, ibuprofen is generally safe and effective. However, taking too much can lead to serious health risks. This article provides an overview of ibuprofen, including its uses, dosing, and safety considerations.

What Is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen belongs to a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins – chemicals in the body that promote inflammation, pain, and fever.

Ibuprofen has several uses, including:

  • Relieving pain from headaches, backaches, muscle aches, minor arthritis pain, and menstrual cramps
  • Reducing fever
  • Decreasing inflammation related to injuries or conditions like arthritis

It’s available over-the-counter in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, and liquid gels. Ibuprofen starts working within 30 minutes and effects can last up to 8 hours.

What’s the Recommended Dosage?

The recommended ibuprofen dosage depends on your age and health status:

  • Adults: 200-400 mg every 4-6 hours. Maximum daily dose is 1,200 mg.
  • Children ages 6 months to 12 years: 5-10 mg per kg of body weight every 6-8 hours. Maximum daily dose is 40 mg/kg.
  • Children under 6 months: Not recommended.
  • Adults over 65: Start with lowest dose, 200 mg per dose or less.

Always follow dosage instructions on the product label and consult your doctor if unsure. Take the smallest effective dose needed to relieve symptoms.

How Much is Too Much?

Taking more than directed or taking ibuprofen long-term can increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, kidney, and other problems. Overdosing can also be fatal.

According to the FDA, the maximum recommended daily dose for adults is:

  • No more than 800 mg every 4 hours OR
  • No more than 3,200 mg per day

Exceeding these daily maximums, even short term, can damage your stomach or intestines. Taking ibuprofen with alcohol also raises the risk of stomach bleeding.

Signs of Ibuprofen Overdose

Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the following after taking too much ibuprofen:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Changes in vision
  • Kidney problems like inability to urinate
  • Confusion, extreme drowsiness
  • Coma, seizures

Groups at Higher Risk

Some groups of people may experience adverse effects at lower ibuprofen doses. Use extra caution if you:

  • Are over age 65
  • Have liver or kidney disease
  • Have a history of ulcers or GI bleeding
  • Have high blood pressure or heart failure
  • Are taking blood thinners
  • Are pregnant

For these groups, do not exceed recommended doses and avoid long-term daily use if possible.

Interactions with Other Medications

Ibuprofen can interact with several types of medications, including:

  • Blood thinners like warfarin – increased bleeding risk
  • ACE inhibitors for blood pressure – decreased efficacy
  • Diuretics – decreased efficacy, kidney problems
  • Lithium – altered drug levels
  • Methotrexate – increased methotrexate levels
  • SSRIs like fluoxetine – increased bleeding risk

Always check with your doctor before taking ibuprofen with any other medications.

Tips for Safe Use

To use ibuprofen safely:

  • Carefully follow dosage instructions
  • Do not exceed maximum recommended doses
  • Take with food to reduce stomach upset
  • Avoid daily long-term use unless directed by your doctor
  • Allow at least 8 hours between doses
  • Use the lowest effective dose for shortest time needed
  • Avoid alcohol while taking ibuprofen
  • Be cautious if you have liver/kidney problems, are over 65, or take other meds
  • Watch for signs of stomach bleeding or adverse reactions
  • Consult your doctor with any concerns


When used as directed, ibuprofen can safely and effectively relieve many types of pain and reduce fever and inflammation. However, exceeding the recommended dosage, especially long-term, raises the risk of serious gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, kidney, and other adverse effects.

To use ibuprofen safely, carefully follow the dosage instructions, do not exceed maximum recommended amounts, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest time needed, and watch for any signs of adverse reactions. Certain groups like the elderly require extra caution with ibuprofen use. Always consult your doctor with any concerns about ibuprofen or other medication safety.

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