Ibuprofen has become one of the most popular and widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) since its introduction in the United States in 1974. This propionic acid derivative inhibits prostaglandin synthesis and possesses both analgesic and antipyretic properties. NSAIDs usually are absorbed rapidly after oral administration. Renal excretion usually is the primary route of elimination. Common side effects from NSAID use usually are due to potent inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. These side effects include gastrointestinal (GI) irritation with dyspepsia, increased occult GI blood loss, GI bleeding, and possible peptic ulceration. All of these symptoms can be alleviated with the administration of nonabsorbable antacids and food. Elevation of transaminase levels as well as alkaline phosphatase also can occur.

Acute poisoning with NSAIDs does not result in significant morbidity and mortality, although serious toxicity (including reports of a few deaths) has been documented. Because ibuprofen has been increasingly available over the counter,...

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