In rare cases, ibuprofen may cause serious and possibly fatal liver damage, according to RxList. Individuals who experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine or jaundice require immediate medical attention. Ibuprofen can also cause life-threatening stomach or intestinal bleeding without warning, especially in the elderly, notes Drugs.com. It can increase the risk of stroke and fatal heart attack, even in individuals who do not have heart disease or other risk factors.
Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain and inflammation, increases the risk for cardiovascular events in individuals who smoke, have high blood pressure, use it over extended periods of time or have a genetic predisposition for heart disease, reports WebMD. NSAIDs can irritate the stomach and cause fatal bleeding in individuals who take blood-thinning medications, have stomach ulcers or consume more than three alcoholic beverages per day.
The most common side effects of ibuprofen include dizziness, upset stomach, heartburn, constipation and mild itching, according to Drugs.com. An individual may experience gas, bloating or ringing in the ears. Symptoms of an ibuprofen overdose include bloody stools, coughing up blood, difficulty breathing or fainting. Ibuprofen reduces pain and inflammation by lowering prostaglandins in the body, a substance responsible for irritating the nerve endings, explains WebMD. It commonly treats arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps and backaches.