Health & Wellness

Too Many People Using Ibuprofen Take Too Much

It’s easy to take more than you intend—especially if you don’t know what you’re taking


By Wendy Haaf


More than 10% of people taking over-the-counter ibuprofen exceed the maximum recommended daily dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), thereby increasing their risk for complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding and heart attack, according to a US study.

The study tracked 1,326 people taking ibuprofen and found that more than a third—37%—were taking a non-ibuprofen NSAID in addition to ibuprofen. Half of those people weren’t aware that both medications belong to the same class. NSAIDs include Aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac (Voltaren), and celecoxib (Celebrex—used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute pain).

Researchers reported that other reasons for people (mostly men) exceeding the daily limit included chronic pain, incomplete or inaccurate knowledge of correct doses, and not starting with the lowest dose.

The results of the study were published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety.

Photo: iStock/areeya_ann.