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Who can and cannot take or use ibuprofen

Who can take ibuprofen

Most adults and young people aged 17 and over can take ibuprofen.

For under-17s, read our information on ibuprofen for children.

Who may not be able to take ibuprofen

Do not take ibuprofen by mouth or apply it to your skin if you:

To make sure ibuprofen tablets, capsules, granules or liquid is safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have ever had bleeding in your stomach or a hole (perforation) in your stomach caused by an NSAID
  • have had a hole (perforation) in your stomach, bleeding in your stomach or a stomach ulcer more than once
  • have a health problem that means you have an increased chance of bleeding
  • have severe heart failure, severe kidney failure or severe liver failure
  • are trying to get pregnant
  • have high blood pressure that's not under control
  • have heart disease or mild to moderate heart failure, or have ever had a stroke
  • have kidney or liver problems
  • have asthma, hay fever or allergies
  • have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • have chickenpox or shingles – taking ibuprofen can increase the chance of certain infections and skin reactions

If you're over 65, ibuprofen can make you more likely to get stomach ulcers. Your doctor will prescribe you a medicine to protect your stomach if you're taking ibuprofen for a long-term condition.

To make sure ibuprofen applied to the skin is safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

Page last reviewed: 18 November 2021
Next review due: 18 November 2024