Nurofen Plus - Some Things to Remember Before Taking

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When it comes to pain relief, few medicines are as effective as ibuprofen, and ibuprofen is the active ingredient in all Nurofen products. In fact Nurofen is being manufactured by Boots Healthcare, the same UK-based drug company that originally developed ibuprofen.

Nurofen comes in various forms and dosages, and even comes in gel form for use on minor soft tissue injuries. It also comes in very low-dosage syrup form for children aged 3 months and up. As with most over-the-counter (OTC) products, it is usually safe for general use. However, if you are preparing to take the drug regularly for an extended period of time, there are some important things you have to know beforehand.

- Do not take Nurofen if you are allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Take stock of all your allergic reactions: one of them may indicate that you should not be taking ibuprofen. Examples of other common NSAIDs are aspirin, ketoprofen and naproxen.

- Do not take Nurofen if you have a stomach ulcer or are hyperacidic. Large doses of non-selective NSAIDs cause adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the gastrointestinal area. OTC drugs that are ibuprofen-based, such as Nurofen, do present a much lower risk of causing ADRs than other NSAIDs, but they are no exception. Stomach conditions are very delicate, and may be aggravated by the wrong type of medicine, even an OTC one. Perforation or tearing in the stomach has been known to happen among patients who take too much ibuprofen at a given time.

Incidentally, aspirin is also not recommended for people who have peptic ulcers, or are prone to develop potentially severe stomach problems. Paracetamol is the best bet for an OTC painkiller in this case.

- Do not take Nurofen if you have just had heart surgery. Having a procedure done on your heart will make your entire cardiovascular system susceptible to medications; the introduction of ibuprofen into your body would not be good for your sensitized heart. If you should experience chest pains or shortness of breath immediately after taking this drug, seek emergency medical help.

- Take Nurofen with plenty of water. Drink one full glass with the medicine, and make sure to stay hydrated for the rest of the day. Ibuprofen could cause constipation if the body is dehydrated. Drinking water or other base liquids, like milk or Gatorade, would also decrease the chances of acidity or toxicity building up in the stomach area.

- Never take Nurofen with alcohol. Bear in mind that prolonged and intensive use of ibuprofen has been known to cause liver damage. Drinking significantly increases your chances of injuring your liver while under medication. Consuming more than three glasses of liquor a day while on ibuprofen presents a grave risk of stomach bleeding.

- Never take a double dose. Dosages are especially calculated to match different body types and different degrees of pain. This is why people who are on the heavier side are often given stronger dosages. To be safe, try the lowest available dosage for your Nurofen first. If this is not effective in relieving pain, move on to a stronger dose.

- Do not take Nurofen if you are pregnant or nursing. Ibuprofen use by pregnant women can present an increased risk to the unborn baby by interfering with the fetal heart. Women who are nursing should also refrain from taking ibuprofen, as there is a chance that NSAIDs can be passed on to babies through the mother's milk, causing heart or cardiovascular problems. If a nursing mother must take ibuprofen, it is advised that she bottle-feed instead.

- Ibuprofen may cause skin sensitivity. You may notice rashes or sunburn spots on your skin after taking the drug, although this is a relatively rare side effect. When this happens, keep away from contact with direct radiation or sunlight, or wear sunscreen and protective clothing if you must be exposed. See your physician if any skin condition caused by the drug becomes alarming.

- When in doubt, consult your doctor. Nurofen may be an OTC medicine, but there are certain cases which may require you to abstain from this drug or otherwise take it in lower dosages. If you are taking other medicines, for example, you may wish to ask your doctor if it is safe to take Nurofen with your other medications. Normally, Nurofen is safe for use in combination with other OTCs, such as paracetamol products, but it is still safest to get your doctor's word on any medication change.
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