Does Ibuprofen Help with Swelling?

Ibuprofen is usually at hand so does ibuprofen help with swelling in 2018? Yes, it does! Ibuprofen is a NSAID which is known for its help with swelling, inflammation and pain. Ibuprofen is used most commonly for arthritis, fever, and menstrual pain.

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is known as a NSAID. It is a type of medication with analgesic, fever-reducing, and, in higher doses, anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, Ibuprofen was on the list of minimum medial needs list known as the Essential Drugs List by The World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a non-steroidal drug. This means that it is not a steroid. Steroids often have similar affects as ibuprofen but can cause severe adverse effects if taken long term. Many NSAIDs are non-narcotic.

The most commonly known NSAIDs are ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. This is because these are available over the counter from pharmacies. In fact, you can purchase these products almost anywhere, including gas stations.

How Ibuprofen Works

When a person takes ibuprofen, they are blocking the production of prostaglandins. This is the substance that the body releases in response to illness or injury. Prostaglandins cause the pain, swelling, or inflammation that we all know. They are released in the brain and can also cause fever. When you take ibuprofen, the painkilling effects begin almost immediately whereas the anti-inflammatory effects take longer. In fact, the anti-inflammatory effects can take several weeks.


People who have or have had any of the effects listed below should avoid ibuprofen.

  • Sensitive to aspirin or any other NSAID
  • Have, had, a peptic ulcer
  • Have severe heart failure

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had strengthened their warning about increased risk of heart attack or stroke when ibuprofen is taken in higher dosages back in 2015.  Everyone who is taking ibuprofen should be aware of this possibility. If you take ibuprofen and experience one or more of the listed problems, you should seek medical help:

  • Chest Pain
  • Sudden Weakness in one part or side of body
  • Breathing Problems
  • Slurred Speech

If you are diagnosed with any of the following you should use ibuprofen with caution and discuss with your doctor:

  • Asthma
  • Liver Issues
  • Kidney Issues
  • Mild Heart Failure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • CABG
  • Stomach Bleeding
  • Stroke

Side Effects

There are some common side effects as well as some that are more serious. The list below states the possible side effects of taking ibuprofen.

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dyspepsia
  • Pain in Stomach/Intestines

Less Common Side Effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Fluid Retention
  • Bloating
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stomach Inflammation
  • Ulcers
  • Worsening Asthma Symptoms

Rare side effects that someone may be experiencing bleeding in the stomach are:

  • Black Stools
  • Vomiting with Blood

Allergic Reactions

While it is uncommon, some people experience allergic reactions to ibuprofen. If you experience any signs that will be listed below you are advised to stop taking ibuprofen. Side effects of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Hives
  • Red Skin
  • Blistering
  • Rash
  • Facial Swelling
  • Asthma
  • Wheezing

Stop taking ibuprofen immediately and contact a doctor.