Motrin side effects, how safe is it, generic name: Ibuprofen
January 10 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Motrin belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. Prostaglandins are chemicals that are made by the body and are responsible for causing pain, fever and inflammation. Motrin blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower levels of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced.

Availability of Motrin
Motrin is available in tablets of 200, 400, 600, and 800 mg; Chewable tablets of 50 and 100 mg; Capsules of 200 mg; Suspension of 100 mg/2.5 ml and 100 mg/5 ml; Oral drops of 40 mg/ml. Motrin should be taken with meals.

What conditions is Motrin used for?
Motrin is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inflammation and fever. In clinical practice it can be used in the treatment of headache, toothache, otalgy, dysmenorrhea, neuralgia, arthralgia, myalgia, abdominal pain and fever: This NSAID, along with naproxen, can be used to treat sore throat and body aches during the cold or flu.


Motrin Dosage

For minor aches, mild to moderate pain, menstrual cramps and fever the usual adult dose is Motrin 200 or 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Arthritis is treated with 300 to 800 mg 3 or 4 times daily. When under the care of a physician, the maximum dose of Motrin is 2 grams daily. Individuals should not use Motrin for more than 10 days for the treatment of pain or more than 3 days for the treatment of a fever unless directed by a physician. Children 6 months to 12 years of age usually are given 5-10 mg/kg of Motrin every 6-8 hours for the treatment of fever and pain. The maximum dose is 40 mg/kg daily. Juvenile arthritis is treated with 20 to 40 mg/kg/day in 3-4 divided doses.

Motrin Drug Interactions

Motrin is associated with several suspected or probable interactions that can affect the action of other drugs. Motrin may increase the blood levels of lithium by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity. Motrin may reduce the blood pressure-lowering effects of drugs that are given to reduce blood pressure. This may occur because prostaglandins play a role in the regulation of blood pressure. When Motrin is used in combination with aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamicin) the blood levels of the aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because the elimination of aminoglycosides from the body is reduced. This may lead to aminoglycoside-related side effects. Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin) should avoid Motrin because Motrin also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.

Motrin and Pregnancy

There are no adequate studies of Motrin in pregnant women. Therefore, Motrin is not recommended during pregnancy.

Motrin and Breastfeeding

Most NSAIDs are excreted in breast milk. In general, mothers who breast feed should avoid the use of NSAIDs because of possible effects on the fetus.

Motrin side effects, safety, danger

The most common Motrin side effects are rash, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. Motrin may cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine, and the ulcers may bleed. Sometimes, ulceration and bleeding can occur without abdominal pain, and black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension) may be the only signs of a problem. NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients with preexisting impairment of kidney function or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be done cautiously. People who are allergic to other NSAIDs, including aspirin, should not use Motrin. Individuals with asthma are more likely to experience allergic reactions to Motrin and other NSAIDs.


The Food and Drug Administration is warning about painkillers like ibuprofen, saying they do raise the risk of heart attack or stroke. They used to say they might cause risk of heart attack or stroke. Now we are saying they do cause increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The warning covers drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS for short. They include ibuprofen, sold under brand names like Advil or Motrin; naproxen (Aleve), as well as prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celebrex.


Regular use increases the risk for atrial fibrillation.


Motrin, Aspirin, and Stroke
There is a drug-drug interaction between ibuprofen and aspirin, with motrin affecting aspirin's ability to inhibit platelet clumping or aggregation that can lead to fatal blood clots. Researchers compared the extent and duration of platelet clumping with aspirin 325 mg alone, with motrin alone and with aspirin 325 mg given two hours after motrin 400 mg in 12 healthy subjects. Duration of inhibition of platelet aggregation with aspirin alone was 72 to 96 hours. This was significantly longer than the inhibition of only 4 to 6 hours with aspirin followed by motrin, and with motrin alone. Thus, it appears the presence of motrin prevents the irreversible inhibition of platelet clumping produced by aspirin needed for secondary prevention of stroke.