15% of Ibuprofen Users May Take More Than Recommended Dose

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“#Headache situation #ibuprofen” by Khairil Zhafri is licensed under CC BY 2.0David Kaufman, ScD

Director, Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston Universit
Professor of Epidemiolog
Boston University School of Public Health 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most-used medicines in the US, but, if too much is taken, can cause harm.

This was an internet-based diary study.  1326 individuals who reported taking an ibuprofen medication in the preceding month completed a daily diary of their NSAID use for one week.  The daily dosage ingested was computed from the diary, which allowed us to determine whether a user exceed the recommended daily maximum dose.

MedicalResearch.com:? What are the main findings?

Response: We found that 15% of adult ibuprofen users exceeded the maximum recommended dose of ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on one or more days during a week in which they used ibuprofen.  Exceeding this daily limit was often associated with taking two different NSAIDs at the same time, and failing to wait long enough before taking another dose.  This has not been reported previously.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: NSAIDs are among the most commonly used medicines in the US and worldwide.  These drugs can have serious side effects, including GI bleeding and heart attacks, and are often taken without medical oversight because many products are available over-the-counter.

It is important to understand how many users exceed the maximum, how they do it, and what characteristics are associated with over-use.  This knowledge can help guide consumer interventions to promote safe use.

Funder: Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc


Kaufman DW, Kelly JP, Battista DR, Malone MK, Weinstein RB, Shiffman S. Exceeding the daily dosing limit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs among ibuprofen users. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2018;1-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/pds.4391 

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Last Updated on January 26, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD