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Ibuprofen - how much is too much?

(10 Posts)
scubawoman Sun 12-Jun-05 18:24:47

My husband has been prescribed maximum strength Cuprofen (Ibuprofen) for a foot injury he has. He was instructed to take 400mg 3 times a day, but as he is used to taking Nurofen didn't bother to read the pack and has in actual fact taken double the dosage. This was 3 times yesterday and once the night before, a total of 3200mg instead of 1600mg. Should I be worried??? I wasn't too happy when he came home with them in the first place in light of the recent scare about it (he was very ill with a viral heart infection a few years ago which left him with slight damage). He is just saying 'oh well', but I am really worried. Any advice would be appreciated. Also, could that much affect his liver, or would it have to be a higher dose?

Flossam Sun 12-Jun-05 18:28:48

Ibuprofen has less of an effect on the liver than paracetamol. However, there are other effects, most noteably stomach ulcers and thinning of the blood. I haven't come across an ibuprofen overdose before, but I would advice at least ringing NHS direct to see what they advice. Seeing as it was yesterday and he is so far fine, not worth rushing to a and e but it should be checked out quite ugently, NHS direct can advice best method of action for you. HTH.

WigWamBam Sun 12-Jun-05 18:33:08

I don't want to alarm you, but in certain circumstances it is possible to overdose on just a small amount more than the recommended dose over a short period. A friend of my dh had internal bleeding following ibuprofen overdose - he had taken just one dose extra every day for a week, and was really poorly for a while.

Your dh will probably be OK, but he really should get it checked out. I agree that you should give NHS Direct a ring to put your mind at rest.

Sax Sun 12-Jun-05 18:37:00

Agree, ring NHS direct, drink milk to line the stomach and I would say don't worry as it was an one off over the limit dose and he will no doubt be fine - best to check it out but I think its only people who take regualr anti inflammatories that have the bigger problems. No harm in checking though - Ring NHS Direct as people have advised.

happymerryberries Sun 12-Jun-05 18:37:30

I used to work for the company that makes ibuprofen and it is very hard to OD on it. The precribed maximum for ibuprofen is 2400mg, higher than the OTC dose limits. I would contact your local A and E to be sure, but I very much doubt that they will suggest any treatment, since most of it will have cleared his system. Effects on liver function are not that common with ibuprofen, the most common effects would be tummy trouble. Heart probelms are not listed on the SPC, except oedema.

I hope that heps to put your mind at rest. Its damn hard to kil yourself with ibuprofen it is far 'safer' than paracetamol, but phone just to put your mind at rest

KathH Sun 12-Jun-05 19:57:12

Your dh will probably be ok but like wwb a friend of my dh had a stomach ulcer caused by too much which then started bleeding and he ended up quite poorly in hospital. He'd taken it on holiday in Spain and hadnt realised he was taking too much. Would ring NHS Direct or do you have an emergency dr you can speak to on the phone?

scubawoman Sun 12-Jun-05 20:09:55

Thanks everyone for all the advice, he has just phoned NHS Direct and they are going to ring back in half an hour.

Flossam Sun 12-Jun-05 21:34:42

have you heard back yet?

scubawoman Mon 13-Jun-05 09:33:32

Everything is fine, the nurse said something about a half life of 1 1/2 - 3 hours (whatever that means)!! He can just carry on taking them as normal. I think he has learnt his lesson about reading instructions from now on though.

happymerryberries Mon 13-Jun-05 17:06:30

SW, it means the time taken for half of what he took to be gone from his system (broken down by the body and passed out in faeces and urine)

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