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Ibuprofen is primarily used to treat pain, reduce fever, and alleviate inflammation.

Last Modified: 09 May 2024

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Ibuprofen is a widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It helps reduce inflammation, pain, and fever by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, substances in the body that cause inflammation and pain. The drug is a white, crystalline substance that is typically made synthetically for use in over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications. 

Global Name

  • Generic Name: Ibuprofen
  • Brand Names: Advil, Motrin, Nurofen, Brufen and more.


What is Ibuprofen used for?

Ibuprofen is primarily used to treat pain, reduce fever, and alleviate inflammation. It's often used for conditions such as headaches, menstrual cramps, toothaches, back pain, arthritis, and minor injuries. It can also be used to reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu. 

How do you use Ibuprofen? 

You can typically find ibuprofen in various formulations, such as: 

  • Tablets 
  • Capsules 
  • Caplets 
  • Liquid suspensions (for children or those who have difficulty swallowing pills) 
  • Topical gels or creams 

The dosage of Ibuprofen varies depending on age and the condition being treated. As a general guideline: 

  • Adults and children over 12 years: 200-400 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed. 
  • Children under 12 years: Dosage is based on weight. Always consult a healthcare provider for the correct dosage. 

Most people can take Ibuprofen, including children (over a certain age/weight), adults, and the elderly. However, it should not be used by individuals who: 

  • Have had an allergic reaction to Ibuprofen or any other NSAID in the past. 
  • Have uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease. 
  • Have liver or kidney disease. 
  • Are in the last trimester of pregnancy. 

Ibuprofen is generally considered safe for use while breastfeeding. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding and considering taking ibuprofen, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider to determine the safest treatment for your needs. 

Interactions and Contraindications of Ibuprofen 

Ibuprofen can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, other NSAIDs, and certain high-blood pressure drugs. Always inform your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking. 

Side Effects

Common side effects of Ibuprofen include upset stomach, mild heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, or constipation. Seek medical help immediately if you experience serious side effects such as shortness of breath or rapid weight gain. 

Pharmacist Tips

Store Ibuprofen at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Do not crush or chew the tablets. 

Ibuprofen can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with food or milk can help prevent stomach upset. 


Where is Ibuprofen available in Hong Kong?

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can be sold without a prescription. It is found in all chain drug stores, including Mannings and Watsons.


What special dietary instructions should I follow?

No special dietary instructions are needed for Ibuprofen, but taking it with food is recommended to prevent stomach upset. 

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking Ibuprofen regularly and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. 

In case of emergency/overdose, what should I do?

In the case of an overdose, get emergency medical help immediately. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, shallow breathing, fainting, or coma. 

Is Ibuprofen available over the counter to buy in Hong Kong? 

Yes, Ibuprofen is available over-the-counter in pharmacies in Hong Kong, but it's always wise to use it under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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