Ibuprofen blocks an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX), which then blocks the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are important molecules involved in such processes as pain, inflammation, and temperature control.
The most common side effect is gastrointestinal discomfort or upset.
Ibuprofen, like all of the NSAIDs, can cause irritation of the stomach or intestinal lining, leading to ulceration and bleeding. This risk increases with older age, longer duration, smoking or alcohol use, and being on other medications like blood thinners (warfarIn) or corticosteroids (prednisone).
In addition, while taking ibuprofen, some patients may notice an increase in their blood pressure, so those being treated for hypertension should be especially careful.
Other common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating, dizziness, nervousness, and ringing in the ears. Call your physician if these are severe, bothersome, or worsened with time.
It is also important to note that non-aspirin NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac, and celecoxib (Celebrex), may increase a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke. So it’s vital that you seek medical attention right away if you experience chest pain, difficulties with breathing, slurred speech, or any other neurological problems like weakness on one part or side of the body.