Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be a helpful way to relieve pain or swelling after an injury or surgery. But how much is too much? Are there long-term effects we can suffer from popping too much ibuprofen?

The short answer is yes. While NSAIDs can be an effective way to manage pain and swelling, it can also cause digestion issues, stomach ulcers, and heart problems if taken over an extended amount of time.

How much NSAIDs should you take?

Before you start taking any medication, it’s important to consult your doctor first. The suggested dosage for common NSAIDs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Celecoxib is dependent on each individual. However, you shouldn’t take more than 3,200 mg in 24 hours.

We also don’t recommend taking pills like ibuprofen and Advil over a long period of time (regularly for more than a week or two). If you suffer from chronic pain, we suggest finding alternate ways to alleviate the discomfort.

Effects of taking NSAIDs long-term

NSAIDs work by reducing the level of prostaglandins in your body. This is what is released when you have an injury or sickness.

However, prostaglandins also protect the stomach lining against harmful stomach acids. Short-term, you aren’t likely to suffer harmful effects. Over a long period of time, decreased levels of prostaglandins can cause stomach ulcers and other digestion issues.

NSAIDs are also linked to a greater risk for strokes, heart attacks and reduced blood flow to the kidneys. If you have existing heart and/or kidney problems, it’s especially important get advice from your doctor about how much you should be taking.

Other side effects of taking NSAIDs long-term include:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion

Note: If you experience any adverse symptoms after taking NSAIDs, it’s important to contact your doctor right away.

Know Your Alternatives

Yes, NSAIDs like Advil can be very effective at treating post-surgery pain or the occasional headache. But if you find yourself relying on these pills to bring long-term relief, it is probably time to start looking at other solutions.

At Advanced Wellness, we offer several different options to help you deal with pain in ways that are restorative to your body instead of potentially harmful. We will pinpoint your specific pain area and get you on the road back to healing.

You can learn more about each practice area below:

Have more questions?

Do you have more questions about healthy ways we can help you manage and treat your pain? Visit our contact page here to schedule an appointment with us.