Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that can be used to relieve moderate pain such as that of menstrual cramps or headaches. Prescription-strength ibuprofen can be used to relieve pain, inflammation and tenderness related to arthritis. This medication is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; it works by blocking the production of enzymes that cause inflammation.
Patients who take ibuprofen are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than patients who do not use this drug. Patients who have a history of heart disease or who use this medication for a long period of time have a greater risk of heart attack or stroke than those who use it on an occasional basis.
NSAIDs can also cause ulcers or perforations in the stomach. See your doctor as soon as possible if you have stomach pain, especially if you also have blood in your stool.