Motrin is an ibuprofen drug that alleviates pain caused by headaches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, cold, flu, arthritis and other conditions. It belongs to the NSAID (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug) which reduces inflammation in the body by minimizing the activity of hormones. Though Motrin works to tone down pain, it has to be used with caution as an overdose of the drug or allergic reactions to the drug can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
Few reasons why you need to be cautious while using Motrin:
1. Heart attacks/strokes: Motrin should be taken under medical supervision by patients who have had a previous history of heart attacks, circulation problems, strokes or bypass surgeries. As an NSAID, it can cause life-threatening conditions, including bleeding and perforation. So, if you have or have had congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, blood clot etc., consult your doctor before taking up ibuprofen.
2. Stomach ulcers, bleeding and gastrointestinal problems: Motrin can cause bleeding or ulcers in the stomach. Sometimes the gastrointestinal effects can be fatal. This affects older adults vehemently and hence patients who have had a past history of ulcers or intestinal-bleeding should not take the drug without doctor’s advice.3. Allergic reactions like asthma hives: If you have diabetes, dehydration issues, blood clotting problems, bad bowel history, asthma, liver or kidney diseases or nasal polyps, you can develop allergies like asthma hives. Breastfeeding and pregnant women are in danger of developing allergic reactions as the drug is listed under the FDA pregnancy category C. As an NSAID, pregnant women need to consume Motrin with caution.
4. Side effects: Allergic reactions to the drug can result in a whole host of side effects in the body. These include hives, swelling in the face, tongue, lips, throat; difficulty in breathing, chest pain, weakness in body, fatigue, slurred speech, temporary vision deficiency, black or bloody stools, weight gain, nausea, stomach pain, low fever, sore throat, headache and red rashes, numbness, pain in muscles and severe tingling-effect etc. Some of the less critical side effects include, stomach upsets, diarrhea, constipation, skin itching, body bloating, acid reflux etc.
5. Overdose effects: Avoid overdose of Motrin as it can lead to stomach bleeding or itching. Call the nearest emergency center if you suspect an overdose. The best way to avoid overdose is to take the drug as directed by the physician. Since Motrin is taken only when required, you need not worry about a missed dose. Ideal dosage for a day is – 800 mg per dose for adults and not more than 3200 mg (4 doses) a day.
6. Motrin dosage and safety: Don’t take Motrin if you are taking the following drugs – other NSAIDs, Aspirin, inhibitors like benazepril, lithium,diuretics, steroids, warfarin etc. If you cannot but have to take aspirin or other drugs for allergies and pain relief, take Motrin 8 hours before or 2 hours after taking those drugs.
7. Dry mouth: This is a common but less mentioned side effect of Motrin. Though common, dry mouth, if uncared for, can lead to Xerostomia/Cotton Mouth. This, in turn, can cause bleeding of gums, toothaches and bad breathing. However, you can rectify this by avoiding sugars, caffeine, dehydration and through intake of lemon water.
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