Arthritis Home > Ibuprofen Side Effects

The most commonly reported side effects of ibuprofen include abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, and dizziness. Other side effects include such things as stomach cramps, indigestion, and diarrhea. There are many possible side effects and most are minor; however, some side effects of the drug can involve serious health problems, such as kidney problems, life-threatening bleeding, a heart attack, or stroke.

An Overview of Ibuprofen Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects can occur with ibuprofen (marketed under brand names such as Motrin®, Advil®, Genpril®, and Nuprin®); however, not everyone who takes this medicine will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in many cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or can easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Several factors seem to affect the chances of experiencing side effects, including:
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with ibuprofen. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of ibuprofen side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with thousands of people worldwide having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects are always documented and compared to those that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common ibuprofen side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Unexplained rash.
Other side effects, occurring in more than 1 percent of people, include but are not limited to:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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