Can I take ibuprofen on an empty stomach?

IBUPROFEN is an integral part of the medicine cabinet.

It’s a lifesaver for almost every common ailment, from back pain to period pain to arthritis.

Ibuprofen should not be taken on an empty stomach, says the NHS


Ibuprofen should not be taken on an empty stomach, says the NHSPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

But when was the last time you looked at the ibuprofen package insert before taking it?

There’s a right way and a wrong way to hit the pill around eating and drinking…

Can I take ibuprofen on an empty stomach?

The NHS gives advice on how best to take ibuprofen.

It says, “You can eat and drink normally while taking any type of ibuprofen.”

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But “it’s best to take ibuprofen with a meal so it doesn’t upset your stomach.”

The NHS warns: “Don’t take it on an empty stomach” – meaning without food or liquid, such as water.

This is said to lead to an upset stomach.

Side effects of ibuprofen can include heartburn, an ulcer, nausea and vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea, cramps, and bloating.

According to Healthline, these symptoms are more common in people over 65, people with a history of heartburn or alcohol use.

Tablets, capsules, granules or liquid ibuprofen should be taken with a drink of water, milk or juice and a meal or snack, according to the NHS.

However, if you have just eaten something heavy, it may take longer for ibuprofen to start working.

If you are taking a tablet that melts in your mouth, you do not need to drink water.

How long does it take for ibuprofen to work?

Ibuprofen usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes to work when taken by mouth.

When should I take ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen reduces inflammation in the body and falls under the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Inflammation occurs for a variety of reasons: it can be a sign of infection or it can be the body’s response to damage.

It can be taken to relieve arthritis, period pain, back pain, or toothache.

The drug can also reduce swelling caused by sprains and strains – although the NHS recommends waiting at least 48 hours to avoid slowing down the healing process.

The NHS says: “If you are taking tablets, capsules, granules or liquid, take the lowest dose possible to control your pain for the shortest possible time.

“Don’t take it for more than 10 days (or 3 days if you’re under 18) unless you’ve spoken to your doctor.

“Do not use the gel, mousse, or spray for more than two weeks without checking with your doctor.”

If you’re wondering whether to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen, the main difference is that the former reduces inflammation.

However, NSAID drugs are not safe for everyone, such as those who have previously had a stomach ulcer.

According to the NHS, acetaminophen has “fewer side effects” than acetaminophen and is the safest choice for the majority of people. Can I take ibuprofen on an empty stomach?

Sarah Y. Kim

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