Question:

My mom tells me to take only one ibuprofen per period, claiming that sooner or later it won't help with pain and it'll become addicting. Is there any truth to this?

PEER ANSWER

We must be sisters, because my mom would tell me the same exact thing. She said either I was going to become a fiend for ibuprofen or my liver would explode. She has quite the affinity for melodrama, but she’s my mom. Your mom is concerned for your health and well-being. That’s a given, so she’s trying to ensure you aren’t in any danger because of something like menstrual cramps. I admit to dabbling in low-dosage painkillers (such as ibuprofen) when I get cramps, but at the same time, I make sure to always take them as instructed. See what health expert Molly says about this, too.

MOM ANSWER

I'm a mom, so I understand your mother's concern. Personally, I also try not to take over-the-counter medications unless it's really necessary. And it's always important to make sure over-the-counter meds won't interfere with any prescriptions you may be taking. But ibuprofen isn't an addicting medication nor does its effect lessen over time. That being said, it's really important to follow the dosage instructions on the package — taking more than recommended isn't wise. Also, most manufacturers recommend discontinuing use and seeing your healthcare provider if pain continues for an extended period (often 10 days).

EXPERT ANSWER

Another myth busted! Although ibuprofen relieves the pain of menstrual cramps, unlike other pain relievers like vicodin or codeine, ibuprofen has no addictive properties! Good news! In fact, depending on how severe your cramps are, taking ibuprofen for a day or two before your period starts can prevent most of the cramping pain. Most women can take up to four of the 200mg over the counter ibuprofen tablets (800mg per dose) up to every six to eight hours safely. No risk of addiction or of the medication “wearing off” and not working as well just because you use it. Hope this clears things up!

Pink like iconMOST RECENT COMMENT:
"

I just wanted to say that my father has been taking ibuprofen for years for back pain, and he has become so accustomed to it that he now has to take larger doses to get the same effect.

" - Rose
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