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Can Ibuprofen or Advil cause my stomach to hurt? Upset stomach mystery answered here.

Feb 23, 2015


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Can Ibuprofen or Advil Cause Stomach Upset? The Mystery Answered Here

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Advil are commonly used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. These medications work by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, similar to steroids but without the associated side effects.

However, long-term use or high doses of NSAIDs can have their own set of side effects. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and mild headaches are some of the most common side effects. One particularly concerning effect is the worsening of bleeding ulcers. NSAIDs temporarily bind to platelets, the blood clotting agents in the body, which can result in continued bleeding from ulcers.

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What Causes Stomach Upset When Taking Ibuprofen or Advil?

When taking Ibuprofen or Advil, some individuals may experience stomach upset as a side effect. This occurs because these medications belong to a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which work by reducing inflammation and relieving pain. However, long-term use or high doses of NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and even bleeding ulcers.

Why Do NSAIDs Cause Stomach Upset?

NSAIDs inhibit the production of certain chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. These chemicals play an important role in protecting the lining of the stomach and promoting blood flow to the stomach. When NSAIDs interfere with the production of prostaglandins, the protective barrier of the stomach becomes weakened, making it more susceptible to irritation and damage from stomach acid, leading to stomach upset.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Upset When Taking NSAIDs?

If you experience stomach upset when taking NSAIDs, there are a few steps you can take to minimize these side effects:

  1. Take NSAIDs with food or milk: Consuming NSAIDs with a meal or a glass of milk can help protect the stomach lining and reduce the likelihood of stomach upset.
  2. Limit the duration and dosage: It is essential to follow the recommended dosage and avoid prolonged use of NSAIDs to reduce the risk of developing stomach upset and other side effects.
  3. Consider alternative medications: If you consistently experience stomach upset with NSAIDs, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative pain relief options that may be more suitable for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can NSAIDs cause stomach ulcers?

Yes, long-term or high-dose use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers. These ulcers can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, bleeding, and even perforation of the stomach lining. It is important to use NSAIDs cautiously and follow the prescribed dosage to reduce this risk.

2. Is there a difference between Ibuprofen and Advil in terms of stomach upset?

Ibuprofen and Advil are both brand names for the same active ingredient, which is ibuprofen. Therefore, they have similar effects on the stomach and can cause stomach upset when used improperly or in high doses. It is always advisable to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

3. Are there any natural remedies to alleviate the stomach upset caused by NSAIDs?

While there is no definitive natural remedy for reducing stomach upset caused by NSAIDs, some individuals have reported relief from symptoms by consuming ginger, chamomile tea, or slippery elm, which may help soothe the stomach. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any natural remedies, as they may interact with medications or have their own side effects.

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