Ibuprofen is a medication available over the counter without requiring a prescription. It is used to treat muscle pain, fever, and inflammation. It belongs to a class of drugs called NSAIDs which stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Though very effective at eliminating pain and reducing inflammation ibuprofen also has many undesirable side effects that range from mildly unpleasant to medically dangerous. Ibuprofen's side effects become worse as dosage is increased resulting in the possibility of an overdose. Ibuprofen can either result in an overdose through accidentally taking too many or in some cases ibuprofen has been used in attempted suicide.
Ibuprofen overdose symptoms
One of the first indicators of an overdose of ibuprofen is abdominal pain. This will be followed by nausea and most likely vomiting. Overdosing will also probably result in feelings of dizziness and drowsiness making it hard for the victim to stand or move properly. Overdose is usually accompanied by a painful headache and tinnitus and nystagmus as well. These symptoms are attributed to an extreme manifestation of ibuprofen's adverse effects. In extreme cases an overdose may result in gastrointestinal bleeding. This can detected by either the vomiting of blood or the overdose victim having dark stools which signifies the presence of blood. Overdoses will also often lead to seizures. Other severe side effects such as tachycardia, metabolic acidosis, hypotension, bradycardia, and hyperkalemia may be experienced as well. These symptoms only accompany severe cases of an overdose and if experienced mean a doctor or medical professional should be seen immediately. In very extreme cases and overdose of ibuprofen will lead to a coma and rarely death.
Ibuprofen overdose amount
There is no excepted amount that equates to an overdose across the board for every individual. There has actually been no correlation between blood levels of ibuprofen and overdose symptoms experienced leading researchers to the conclusion that overdose and overdose symptoms effect each individual differently. It has been determined however that toxic effects are experienced in the majority of persons at 100mg/kg. This equates to around 30 tablets of 200mg ibuprofen for the average male. Doses below this are likely to still exhibit unpleasant side effects as well. An estimated lethal dose is 400mg/kg which equates to around 120 200mg tablets of ibuprofen. Often death is experienced at doses lower than this though due to overdoses sometimes resulting in repository depression.
Ibuprofen overdose treatment
How an ibuprofen overdose is treated is largely dependent upon the symptoms that are seen in the overdose victim. Depending on how recent the ibuprofen was ingested the patient will be given activated charcoal which absorbs any amount of the drug left in the patients stomach keeping it from entering the bloodstream. For most an ibuprofen overdose is not life threatening and the patient will just be closely monitored for a couple of days with adjustments made accordingly. It is essential to keep body functions normal and to keep the patient hydrated. Since ibuprofen is acidic the blood may also need to be basified to prevent harm. In the case of a coma treatment will be no different than the standard treatment of a coma.