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Ibuprofen overdose

Advil overdose; Nuprin overdose; PediaProfen overdose; Rufen overdose; Motrin overdose

Ibuprofen is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medicine.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Poisonous Ingredient

Ibuprofen is sold over-the-counter and by prescription.

Where Found

Ibuprofen is found in:

  • Advil
  • Medipren
  • Midol
  • Motrin
  • Nuprin
  • Pamprin IB
  • PediaProfen
  • Rufen

Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.

Symptoms

Symptoms may develop in the following areas:

Eyes, ears, nose, throat, and mouth:

Gastrointestinal:

Heart and blood:

  • Low blood pressure (shock) and weakness 

Kidneys:

  • Little to no urine production

Lungs:

Nervous system:

Skin:

Other:
  • Chills

Before Calling Emergency

The following information is helpful for emergency assistance:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If the medicine was prescribed for the person

However, DO NOT delay calling for help if this information is not immediately available.

Poison Control

Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Airway support, including oxygen, breathing tube through the mouth (intubation), and breathing machine (ventilator)
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach and small intestine to identify and treat internal bleeding (endoscopy)
  • ECG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Fluids through a vein (intravenous or IV)
  • Laxative
  • Medicines to treat symptoms

Outlook (Prognosis)

Recovery is likely with prompt medical treatment, except in very large overdoses. Some people may develop chronic liver or kidney injury.

References

Aronson JK. Ibuprofen. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier; 2016:5-12.

Hatten BW. Aspirin and nonsteroidal agents. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 144.

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Review Date: 1/12/2019

Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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