Don't turn blu with ibu-profen

Project by Max Warren

What is ibuprofen supposed to be used for?

Most of us have probably had the drug in one form or another whether it be Advil or Motrin. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that lowers pain inducing hormones. It can also be used to lower a fever.
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How is it abused?

Ibuprofen is often used far more than it should be to treat chronic pain. It is not a drug that should be taken on a regimen as even when not abused it has negative side effects. It can also numb emotional pain and lead to the underlying physical and mental issues it alleviates not being solved.

Common Types

In what way does ibuprofen affect the brain?

Well in short- it doesn't

Our body has pain sensing cells called nociceptors all throughout. These cells send signals to the brain and that is what affects the brain. However ibuprofen does not affect the interpretation, it affects the nociceptors.

It lowers their sensitivity threshold by blocking the production of prostaglandins from damaged cells which raises the sensitivity of the nociceptors. It blocks this by acting as an inhibitor.

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Because of this it does not affect the brain. And due to that it does not create a physical dependency or behavioral shift other than the possible mental pain suppression.

The body is a different manner. Prolonged use of ibuprofen can lead to adverse side effects in any patient.

These can include:

  • Damage to stomach
  • Damage to intestines
  • Internal bleeding
  • Cardiac issues
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage

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Effects on younger ages

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Although ibuprofen does not affect the development of the brain, it does affect the body and intestines. Dosages have to be scaled to a patient's age for the drug to be effective and safe. This is because the nociceptors multiply in our body as we grow into adults. More nociceptors means more ibuprofen is needed to suppress the pain. An adult dosage of ibuprofen, if given to children, could cause the side effects listed above.