Advil, which contains the drug Ibuprofen, is manufactured by Pfizer and has been on the market since 1984. It is used to treat mild to moderate pain, reduction of fever and several chronic arthritic conditions. Advil works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Advil has been linked to a variety of side effects, especially if taken by pregnant women. Research published in the Journal in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that mothers who used NSAID painkillers (including Advil) had a greater risk of having a baby with severe, debilitating birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, spina bifida, club foot, amniotic band syndrome, and two conditions which cause blindness. In the study, researchers looked at 15,000 mothers whose babies were born with birth defects. They compared this to data from 5,500 women who had children with no birth defects. It was found that maternal use of painkillers early in pregnancy increased these risks.

Advil has also been linked to severe allergic reactions in some patients. Some side effects such as rash, hives, facial swelling, and the inability to eat or drink are often the first indication of SJS (Stevens- Johnson Syndrome) or TEN (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis). Today, Advil packages warn of allergic reactions. However some patients who developed SJS or TEN after taking Advil have filed lawsuits, charging that the company failed to adequately disclose the likelihood of severe and dangerous side effects and skin conditions from taking Advil. The Advil complaints have further alleged that Pfizer suppressed information on the risks of Advil to the FDA and public.

Also, prolonged use of Advil has been linked to life-threatening heart or circulation problems, such as heart attack and stroke. It has also caused serious effects on the stomach and intestines, such as bleeding and perforations which can be fatal and can occur without warning.


Side effects may include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain or upset


More serious side effects may include:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Change in the amount of urine produced
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Depression
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Numbness of arm or leg
  • One-sided weakness
  • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache or dizziness
  • Severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea
  • Severe vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden or unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling of hands, legs, or feet
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Unusual joint or muscle pain
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vision or speech changes
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
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