Long-term use of ibuprofen increases the chances of cardiovascular effects, including heart attack and stroke, according to Drugs.com. All nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can lead to hypertension or make existing hypertension worse. The medication can also cause kidney and gastrointestinal problems.
Patients sometimes experience kidney problems with ibuprofen, reports WebMD. Older adults, people with existing kidney disease and those with congestive heart failure are more likely to experience problems with the medication. Preventative measures include drinking plenty of fluids when taking the medication to prevent dehydration. When taking ibuprofen, patients should note any changes in urine production and tell their doctor immediately if there is an unusual change.
While the risks of gastrointestinal effects are lower with ibuprofen than with aspirin, Drugs.com indicates there is a risk of bleeding, ulceration and perforation when taking it. Ibuprofen may affect the stomach or intestines and cause a potentially fatal side effect. Such side effects affect 1 percent of patients taking the medication for a year. The chances of a serious gastrointestinal problem increase in patients who take the medication for longer periods but can also happen in patients using the medication for short-term therapy. To reduce these risks, the patient should use the lowest effective dosage of medication for the shortest time possible.