Can you die from an ibuprofen overdose?

Answer

You can die from an ibuprofen overdose. Even over-the-counter versions of the drug can cause multisystem organ failure and death when ingested in large quantities.

Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is available in prescription strength and non-prescription strength forms under the brand names Advil and Motrin. Fatal overdoses are rare, but medical attention for a suspected overdose is crucial to prevent organ failure and death, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Contact the poison control center at 800-222-1222, or call 911 if someone displays the following symptoms after ingesting ibuprofen:

  • Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
  • Heartburn, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Headache, confusion or incoherence
  • Drowsiness, unsteadiness or coma
  • Seizures

Be prepared to provide emergency personnel with the patient's details and information about the product ingested, including the strength, the quantity taken and the time it was taken.

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