How Much Ibuprofen Can You Take?

Is too much ibuprofen, a.k.a. Motrin, Advil, bad for you? The short answer is that it can be.

The longer answer is:

  1. In recommended doses, for limited periods of time, ibuprofen (and other NSAIDs) should be safe.
  2. Ibuprofen can irritate the lining of your gastrointestinal system, and therefore can cause ulcers and intestinal bleeding.
  3. It can cause kidney problems, especially in long distance runners who are prone to dehydration.
  4. Some studies have recently shown a higher risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events in people who take high doses long term, especially those with preexisting risk factors.
  5. If you are taking ibuprofen for a chronic headaches and then you stop, you may experience rebound headaches.

So …. what to say about my absolute favorite go-to when dealing with almost any kind of pain? Take it when you need it and stick to the recommended dose.


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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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