Ibuprofen is an effective non-prescription pain reliever belonging to the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. It has been found to be effective in reducing swelling ad fevers as well as relieving a variety of pain symptoms. It wide use of applications have made it one of the more popular medications that is available over the counter. At different doses ibuprofen exhibits different characteristics. At lower doses it works mainly as an analgesic while at higher doses it more effectively works as an anti-inflammatory reducing swelling and inflammation. Due to the variability of ibuprofen's effects, ibuprofen dosing differs depending upon the circumstance. These recommended doses are simply guidelines as each individual's body will react slightly differently to ibuprofen dosing.
The standard dosage found in most preparations of ibuprofen is 200 mg. It is probably best unless directed by a doctor to start with this dose and try not to exceed it as the health risks associated with ibuprofen increase as the dosage increases. For treating mild to moderate headaches ibuprofen should be taken initially every four to six hours. I many cases this will be enough to effectively eliminate the pain or bring it to a more manageable level. This dosage can also be used for treating menstrual cramps and should also be taken every four to six hours. Some smaller women may find that half of a tablet at 100 mg taken every four to six hours is effective at eliminating menstrual cramps. Doses of 200 mg taken every four to six hours are also recommended for treating minor muscle aches and pain. At this level there will be no noticeable anti-inflammatory effects but the ibuprofen will act as an analgesic.
For more serious pain Ibuprofen can be taken at doses of 400 mg at time intervals of four to six hours or six to eight hours. For rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis most doctors recommend patients start on doses of 400 mg ibuprofen every six to eight hours. This dosage is also recommended to be taken at a time interval of four to six hours in cases where the dosage of 200 mg ibuprofen is not effective in limiting the pain. This dosage can also be used to help eliminate a fever when 200 mg has been found to be ineffective.
For cases of more severe muscle pain or headaches sometimes doctors will prescribe tablets which come in 600 mg doses. It is not recommended that 600 mg of ibuprofen be taken without having a doctors orders to do so. Many suffering from arthritis are also instructed to take ibuprofen 600 mg at intervals of six to eight hours. At this dosage ibuprofens anti-inflammatory effects will begin to become more prominent making it more effective at eliminating swelling and other effects of inflammation.
Doctors also are able to give patients tablets which contain ibuprofen in doses of 800 mg. At 800 mg ibuprofen is most effective at relieving swelling. Its analgesic properties however have not been shown to increase in doses over 400 mg. Those with severe cases of arthritis are also often instructed to take ibuprofen 800 mg tablets. At this dosage there is an increase in risk for harmful side effects. Taking this dosage on an empty stomach can also result in a significant about of stomach pain or bleeding.