What will 2400 mg of ibuprofen do?
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There seem to be many questions on Quora involving overdoses of medications. Until the early 1980’s , ibuprofen was available by prescription only, at least in the US. Commonly, the prescription adult dose was 800 mg every 6 hours as needed, When it initially became available without a prescription, the recommended dosage for a healthy adult never exceeded 600 mg at one time, generally every 6 to 8 hours if needed. Ibuprofen is known to cause stomach upset. So, if the question is, what would happen if you take 2400 mg at once, the answer would be possibly nausea and vomiting. If the 2400 mg are spread out over a 24 hour period at the rate of 600 mg every 6 hours, it should provide pain relief. However, ibuprofen is not meant to be a maintenance medication. In other words, it should not be taken 4 times a day for weeks at a time. The result will be immunity to the effect (it may no longer provide adequate pain relief) and possible damage to the GI system and kidneys.
I appreciate all of the answers and certainly high doses of ibuprofen could cause GI bleeds and kidney failure. However, let me put this into perspective.
Normal adult – Likely no issue
First of all, if you are a normal adult without any medical issues and are of normal weight, one double dose of prescription strength ibuprofen at 1600mg is unlikely to cause any problems. I would certainly hydrate yourself and not take more but would not generally worry.
People take more than the recommended dose all of the time
I can’t tell you how many times people come to the ER and tell me they’ve been taking 1200mg or more of ibuprofen every 2–3 hours for a number of days. Though I immediately educate on the proper dose and the issues that can occur with long term chronic ibuprofen overdose (max dose is 800mg 3–4 times/day in my opinion), these patients are generally perfectly fine and have no major problems related to the ibuprofen.
You wouldn’t believe how much ibuprofen I’ve seen a patient take
On my toxicology rotation I had a patient who took an entire bottle of 800mg ibuprofen tablets at once. I can’t remember the exact number of tabs, but let’s assume 30. That’s 24,000mg of ibuprofen at one time. Certainly the concern would be GI bleeding or even kidney failure. We placed that patient on a significant amount of IV hydration overnight and observed for signs of organ failure or bleeding. She had no major problems and was medically cleared for psychiatric treatment the following day. Pretty amazing, huh?
It takes a significant amount of ibuprofen to cause serious medical issues. If you have kidney disease or risk for GI bleed, or perhaps other concomitant disease, a higher dose like 1600mg could be problematic. It is also quite high for young children. And don’t mistake ibuprofen for Acetaminophen or Aspirin. The latter medications are very dangerous in high doses.
Certainly, if you have taken a large dose and there is any concern, you should be evaluated by a doctor, but most healthy adults should not have any major issues with a one time dose of 1600mg of ibuprofen.
7 comments from Kevin Coonan and more
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I’ll say this with a little bit of a precaution: I AM NOT YOUR DOCTOR! because the following might be construed as medical advice, which it isn’t, unless you see me and pay me (my hospital).
In my personal opinion no one should ever take an OTC NSAID (even if prescribed by a physician) without taking a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) to prevent stomach bleeds. That’s true no matter if you take 400mg Ibuprofen a week ror 2400mg a day.
To quote the 2013 paper that should be read by everyone selling, prescribing, or taking NSAIDs:
NSAIDs are prescribed widely but have rare serious gastrointestinal side effects. More recently, adverse cardiovascular effects of these drugs have also been recognized, leading to the withdrawal of some agents and continuing uncertainty about the best approach for patients requiring NSAID therapy. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) provide potent and long-lasting inhibition of gastric acid secretion and have proven efficacy in healing NSAID-associated ulcers, including those with continued exposure to NSAIDs.
So, what happened? Well, your mucosal wall in your stomach started to peel off. That’s a rare side effect of Ibuprofen (or other NSAIDs, like Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin) or Naproxen (Aleve)). The more you take, the more likely that effect happens.
PPI like Pantoprazole or Omeprazole are freely available over the counter. They, themselves, have side effects, too, but they prevent this nasty one in NSAIDs. Combined with alcohol you should be happy you’re writing this. Even assuming the “small dose” Ibu version, 400mg, 9 pills are 3600mg, 1200mg or 1.2 GRAMS over the daily maximum dose.
Alcohol quadruples the risk of stomach bleeding, making it a very real danger at “normal” doses of 800–1200mg/day. At 3600mg it’s a totally unacceptable risk, but having a PPI at home should at least help if you realize it quickly enough and are ready to be taken to Urgent Care.
In general, don’t take Ibuprofen unless your physician has cleared you, don’t drink while taking it, take a PPI with it, and don’t drink on PPIs, either. Just don’t.
5 comments from David S. Rose and more
Let me first say that I am a Pharmacist, so medication is my wheelhouse….a body can overdose on any substance at any given time! It is possible to overdose and become toxic on water! It is in a certain specific circumstance, but it can happen. Any substance, illegal drugs, liquor, prescription or otc medications, vitamins, or any chemical must be dealt with when you swallow it, inhale it, or absorb it through your skin, or insert it into an orafice. It is broken down into active absorbable parts that have effect on cells and are the reason you take them ( therapeutic or recreational), and the leftover garbage and byproducts. Many of those parts have purposes as delivery agents, fillers to bulk up and form the tablet, dyes or flavor so for appearance or activating agents. Every substance must be cleared from the body either by the kidneys as urine, or by the liver as solid waste (poop), or as vomit if the substance doesn’t make it all the way through. The kidneys and the liver have limits. They have only so much function to deal with the junk you are putting in your body for them to deal with. For example, say your kidneys and liver can only deal with 1 cup full of substance each. If you put 5 cups of substance in your body, the kidneys and liver can not get rid of all of it, some is left in the circulation, hanging on to the blood cells, or proteins, or fluids that can’t dump it out. That is toxicity. You have put more in than your body can deal with. If you put too much heat in an engine, it will exceed it’s capacity and it will quit. That is what happens when you put too much of any substance in your body. If your kidneys quit, it will stop your heart and brain. You die. If your liver quits, it will stop your heart and brain. You die. That is just the science of the body, any body, every body, every single time. Tolerance or size or how much you have used over how much time really doesn’t have a thing to do with it. Every body has it’s limits, and you will be VERY LUCKY, if you exceed that limit if someone is around to get you the correct help quickly enough, or, you die!
I absolutely HATE to hear anyone brag about how much they can drink or smoke or snort or bang into a blood vessel. Hate to break it to you all, but your body is the same as everyone else’s. It can only do what it can do and nothing you put in it will change that. You are not “special” in that sense.
2 comments from Bjarney Grímsdóttir and more
Ibuprofen’s maximum effective dose is set at 800mg/dose. Dentists, due to their decreased willingness/ability to prescribe opiates or opioids, will typically prescribe 800mg of Motrin(ibuprofen) taken per dose with a maximum daily dose of 3200mg after an extraction. Yes, the free-falling days of getting hooked on opiates by your dentist are gone.
A safe dose of ibuprofen to take at once is going to be <=max ED, though the likelihood of adverse effects increases with increased dosage, and even more with the frequency of use. It should be noted that adverse effects are rare, and usually associated to an allergic reaction (extremely rare for NSAIDs) or an interaction with a pre-existing condition. That being said, a truly safe dose would be 200mg-400mg, as recommended every 4–6 hours on the drug’s provided informational.
NOW, as unlikely that the question is asked with an objective in pumping your veins full of ibuprofen, I will address the LD for ibuprofen in which toxic effects are guaranteed. 100mg/kg or less, and one is less likely to experience severe adverse effects, though discomfort in the stomach would be present, barring any pre-existing conditions. Anything above 100mg/kg, and the likelihood of severe organ involvement goes up, and anything above 400mg/kg, and the necessity for intensive care arises due to a very high chance of fatality.
Despite the seemingly non-cautious approach to taking ibuprofen, one should consult with a doctor if they believe there is even a possibility of an adverse side effect.
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Ibuprofen doesn’t kill you, it just kills your liver. If you take a large enough overdose to wipe out your liver function completely, you feel fine for about a week. Then you start feeling terrible, and every day feels worse than the last until you die in agony after at least two weeks of unrelenting pain. You basically poison yourself to death with your own metabolic waste products, because you no longer have a liver available to break them down into harmless substances. The only thing that can save you at that point is a liver transplant, which you probably won’t get because there are far more people who need liver transplants than there are donor livers available.
If you take a substantial overdose but not a fatal one, the same thing happens except that you pull through in the end and are left with health problems for the rest of your life because of your permanently impaired liver function. If you take slightly too much on a regular basis, your liver function will slowly get worse over time until you start experiencing serious health problems because of impaired liver function.
Ibuprofen is not something you want to fuck around with. If you need it for pain, you need to respect both the daily dosage limit and the long-term dosage limits. Those are calculated conservatively, so most people can push the boundaries, but you need to be aware of both the short-term and long-term risks.
If you want to end your life, ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen are not the way to do that. Seriously. I am not trying to deceive you, what I am telling you is the absolute truth. There is an unfortunate myth that gets bandied about that people can easily kill themselves this way. The people who pass it on are ignorant fools.
There is no benefit to taking maximum daily all at one time. There are 2 of the identical answers to your right.
It may cause harm to the lining of your stomach and hurt your kidneys. There are neurotoxic side effects as well.
You may not know the extent of the damage unless you have bloodwork or endoscopy if you have symptoms of a GI bleed.
Only take as much of this drug as directed on the bottle. If your healthcare provider wants you to take more intermittently for a condition (say for menstrual cramps) they may prescribe larger dose tablets. If you need an antiinflammatory over a longer period they will most likely prescribe Meloxicam which has fewer GI side effects and can be taken one or two times a day depending on the prescription.
Ibuprofen has label warnings that also state that you should not take it for more than 10 days without checking in with your healthcare professional who will monitor you for side effects and may order some new interventions with less risk.
I suspect that this is a repeat question to make money, but if you are sincere or intend to hurt yourself call your healthcare provider, the suicide hotline, and poison control.
Do not take a second overdose at this time.
2,400 mg at one time will likely give you one hell of a stomach ache, as ibuprofen is known to cause stomach ulcers if used too frequently.
I’m not sure what the intent of your question is, but if you’re looking to overdose—ibuprofen is not the way to do it. Not only will you not die, you’re bringing on more physical suffering upon yourself. Please call a suicide hotline or 911.
If your intent on using such a large dose is to increase ibuprofen’s efficacy, 800mg is the maximum dose you can take at one time, up to 4 times a day (every 6 hours).
If 800mg per dose is not working for you, it’s time to talk to your doctor about other options.
Possibly if you are small enough. Ibuprofen takes about 6- 12 hours to wear off in normal liver function. If that is impaired then it would take much longer. Combined with low weight, perhaps in a child, it could be dangerous. For a normal person of say 55kg or more that would be the 24 hour dose, split as 1/3 of that every 8 hours.
Studies show ibuprofen is as effective at 400mg as at 800mg for most people. Chronic use slows down healing, it may increase your risk of coronary disease by limiting the response of cholesterol to adequately heal damaged tissue. All those need citations, sorry.
Yes. 800 mg is the highest prescription strength there is. There is no need to exceed this dosage under any circumstances unless advised to do so by a physician.
Usually, the least amount to be effective of anything should be observed; especially when self medicating.
400 – 600 mg is usually sufficient in most adults.
I’m not a doctor but I have taken 1600mg at once with no side effects. They prescribe 800mg pills. So you should be fine.
1 comment from Michael Ringland