What are the risks of taking too much ibuprofen?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ibuprofen is a common ingredient in over-the-counter medications like Advil, Motrin, and Midol. However, overdosing can put you at a higher risk for strokes and heart attacks. Furthermore, it can damage your kidneys and increase your risk for stomach bleeding.

All of these dangerous side effects relate to how ibuprofen works in the body. It stops two very important enzymes that promote inflammation and pain. By blocking these enzymes, cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2, ibuprofen also gradually increases blood pressure.

A 2011 meta-analysis investigated the long-term effects of ibuprofen and other painkillers. After reviewing data on more than 100,000 people, researchers found that ibuprofen was associated with a three times greater risk of stroke compared to a placebo. They also found that those who took ibuprofen had 1.3 times greater risk of a heart attack compared to those who took placebo pills.
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