Painkiller Overdose: How Much Ibuprofen Is Too Much?

Ibuprofen is commonly used for pain. The thing though is that many people tend to overdose with this medication. So how much ibuprofen is too much? We will be looking at that today.

a handful of pills

One issue that the health sector constantly has to deal with is the overdosing of drugs. It happens with both prescribed drugs and drugs that are not prescribed by the doctor. But it is most commonly seen among people that opt for over the counter medications. And the reason for this is because the drugs are readily available. At the same time, there isn’t any proper guidance from a medical practitioner as to how the drug should be taken. Amongst many drugs that are easily overdosed ibuprofen happens to be among the common ones. And that’s because it is a painkiller. The question though that people keep asking is how much ibuprofen is too much? 

That is one question that many people should ask before even getting the medication. It’s important so that you would be able to avoid any side effects that come with taking too much ibuprofen. The sad truth is that many people don’t ask this question. Well, we’re here to help you out. Here we will be looking at how much is too much, as well as what happens to the body when you take too much. You must bear in mind that medications taken in excess would affect most major organs in the body. We will be looking at all that as we go on. So keep reading to find out more. 

Things You Need to Know About Pain Killer Ibuprofen 

Ibuprofen is a common over the counter medication. It is used for treating different kinds of aches and pain. It is commonly used by people that have back pain. Another use of this medication is for inflammation. 

It comes in different forms. It could either be in capsule or tablet form. It could also come in the form of a syrup. It also comes in the form of spray, gel, or mousse that you can rub all over your skin. 

There are times that it is combined with some other painkillers to form a product. At the same time, it is used in some flu remedies. 

Usually, it is available over the counter. But some can only be gotten with a prescription. 

Let’s take a look at some of the facts about ibuprofen that many people don’t know about. 

When you take this medication, it will take about 20-30 mins to start working if taken orally. If applied on the skin, then you would have to wait for about a day or two. 

When it comes to sprains and strains, the doctor advises that you wait for about 48 hours before taking pain killers such as ibuprofen. And the reason for this is because it might slow down the rate of healing in the body. So before opting for ibuprofen for a sprain or strain, make sure you talk to medical personnel. 

It is advisable not to take ibuprofen on an empty stomach. That is to avoid an upset stomach. So when taking it, you can take it with a cup of juice or a cup of milk if you haven’t eaten yet. 

How Much Ibuprofen is Too Much? 

It is advisable to take ibuprofen only as needed. It should not be taken for a long period expect prescribed by the doctor. Make sure to ask the pharmacist how long you should take it for when getting ibuprofen. 

As for the toxicity level, it varies for different conditions. The toxicity level for pain is different for that of fever. But anyway, we will be looking at the general toxicity level of ibuprofen. 

Taking anything more than 2400-3200mg in a day is considered an overdose. You should be taking more than four doses in a day. So if you are taking 600mg per tab, then you should take just four tabs. The same goes for if you are taking 800 mg per tab. For 800mg per tab, preferably go for just three tabs in a day. That is to avoid any of the side effects that come with overdosage. 

Side Effects of Overdosage

Take note that ingesting a large amount of ibuprofen would affect different organs in the body. Let’s take a look at some of the organs that are affected, and how it affects these organs. 

  • Gastrointestinal system: It causes erosions in the linings of the GI tract. And this, in the end, may lead to peptic ulcers. It could even be as bad as GI hemorrhage up to organ damage. Some of the symptoms that accompany this are dyspeptic symptoms, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. 
  • Renal: There have been cases of renal damage with ibuprofen toxicity. The good thing is that this can be reversed, using intravenous fluids and supportive care. It could go as far as a patient needing hemodialysis for some months. 
  • Neurological: CNS depression is another common finding among patients. The patient could enter into a coma. And the patient wouldn’t be responsive to different stimuli. The good thing is that if there is a quick and proper intervention, the patient would be okay within days. 
  • Biochemical: Respiratory acidosis may occur in the patient. And that is a result of apnea as a result of respiratory depression. Also, hypokalemia can occur. And this can be life-threatening. Another thing commonly seen happens to be metabolic acidosis that comes with polyuria. 
  • Hematological: When there is ibuprofen overdose, thrombocytopenia is commonly seen. Also, there can be prolonged prothrombin time in the patient. There have also been cases of severe pancytopenia. 

So what should you do when you find some that have overdosed with ibuprofen? The best thing to do is call for medical help immediately. Make sure you seek help immediately. Any further delay can endanger the life of the person. One thing that you can be sure of is that with proper and quick medical intervention, the person would be fine. 

Now that you have an idea of how much ibuprofen is too much, we hope that you would be watchful of how much you consume. Make sure you take it as needed.

How Much Ibuprofen Is Too Much?

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