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Ibuprofen

The Benefits and Side Effects of Ibuprofen

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Unlike other long-lived pain relievers, ibuprofen wasn’t discovered by accident. Scientists spent many hours in a chemistry lab trying to create a synthetic drug to help alleviate the pain of arthritis. What they created in the 1950s actually turned out to be an excellent pain reliever for menstrual cramps, toothaches, arthritis, headaches, and other minor aches and pains. The credit went to colleagues Stewart Adams and John Nicholson, employees of the pharmacy chain, Boots Group, in the United Kingdom.

The first time the drug was tried by Adams was to relieve pain from a hangover. Although they knew it worked, the public wouldn’t be able to reap the benefits of ibuprofen until 1969, nearly two decades later. It became a household name by the 1970s, and people could buy it over the counter around the world started in 1978. It was accepted as an over-the-counter-medication by the United States pharmacy industry before 1985.

The benefits of ibuprofen are pretty astounding in some cases. For example, research shows taking the drug can prevent patients from getting Parkinson’s disease. It has even been shown that ibuprofen could lessen the chance of getting cancer, especially prostate cancer. Most people take it for common aches and pains, menstrual cramps, toothaches, and fever. Because it doesn’t contain a steroid, it doesn’t upset the balance of hormones in your body, so you don’t have to watch how much you take it. Did you know ibuprofen was first invented to treat rheumatoid arthritis without containing steroids? A pharmacologist and an organic chemist were pioneers, the first to take on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, known in the medical world today as NSAIDs. Today it is one of the most successful types of drugs in the modern NSAID category.

Overdosing on ibuprofen is reportedly extremely rare, but a few cases have occured since the pain reliever became so readily available. As with any drug, the side effects of ibuprofen are lengthy, so you’re advised to weigh the risk for yourself. If you take too much ibuprofen, you may experience pain in your chest, become weak, have trouble breathing, slur your speech, or have problems seeing or walking. If your stools are black or contain blood, or if you are not urinating as much as you should be, you may be experiencing an adverse reaction to too much ibuprofen. Nausea, fever, stomach pain, a sore throat, headache, chills, and swelling are also listed as side effects of ibuprofen. The most major side effects of ibuprofen are heart attack or stroke, especially if used on a long-term basis. Life-threatening, serious stomach and intestinal bleeding or perforation can occur.

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