Affiliate links on our site may earn us commissions. Learn More.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. Visit our Privacy Policy.


Discover The Best Wellness Tips In Your Inbox

Subscribe to Health Reporter’s newsletter and get our health experts’ highlights and the latest news about healthy living.
The newsletters are spam-free and sent from our health experts and professionals.

Thank You!

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter!
Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Can Ibuprofen Cause Constipation? What You Need to Know

Can Ibuprofen Cause Constipation? What You Need to Know

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 18, 2023
2 min read 2189 Views 0 Comments
clock 2 eye 2189 comments 0

Constipation can be very challenging to deal with. Can Ibuprofen be the cause of it?

can Ibuprofen cause constipation

People with irritable bowel syndrome may experience recurring bouts of constipation from foods or medications. This will get more frustrating over time and could trigger uncomfortable bowel movements. Certain prescription pain relievers may cause severe constipation. 

Ibuprofen is one of those medications that can precipitate stomach pain. Not everyone will experience the symptoms, but those with a sensitive gut may have gastrointestinal side effects. Taking Ibuprofen can either relieve pain or trigger discomfort in your digestive system. 

Understanding how this common drug affects your gut may prevent you from taking certain substances. It’s better to avoid medication that puts you at a higher risk of constipation. 

In this article, you’ll learn if Ibuprofen can cause constipation. 

Can Ibuprofen Cause Constipation?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen may cause constipation

Certain painkillers have a recommended dosage on the box. You should only take 2 tablets every 4 hours. If you take too many in one hour, you could experience uncomfortable side effects like constipation. It’s also possible to have an increased risk of excessive stomach acid.

Too much Ibuprofen can lead to stomach issues that trigger swelling, pain, or inflammation in your gut. This painkiller may slow down your intestinal functions, preventing stool from passing through your system easily. You might experience severe muscle aches along with this.

Drinking alcohol after taking Ibuprofen could also cause discomfort in your stomach. Alcohol usually has a negative interaction with painkillers. Ibuprofen may promote stomach bleeding, kidney disease, and liver damage.

People could experience severe or moderate pain from constipation. Accidentally overdosing on Ibuprofen can trigger muscle contractions in your gut. This is due to the lack of prostaglandin, which is a chemical that stops the stomach acid from irritating your stomach lining.

What Is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that relieves pain. 

This painkiller works to block your body’s production of prostaglandins – chemicals that cause pain and inflammation. Upon taking the medicine, you’ll experience less uncomfortable symptoms associated with your specific health problem. 

Ibuprofen usually contains 200mg of active ingredients. This is why it’s important to follow the dosage on the packaging. Ingredients like hypromellose and maize starch may cause further inflammation if you don’t take Ibuprofen properly. 

People usually consume this painkiller to treat headaches or minor injuries. It’s a simple drug that can be taken with water throughout the day. However, you should only have 4 doses in 24 hours, as it may prevent you from vomiting or gaining digestive issues. 

Common Side Effects of Ibuprofen

There are side effects that derive from taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Small side effects include stomach pain, vomiting, gas, constipation, fluid retention, diarrhea, and heartburn. You can prevent these symptoms by taking Ibuprofen before or after meals. Talk to a doctor if you’re unsure about how to treat these side effects after consuming painkillers.

More serious side effects can damage your physical health. Some of these are heart attacks, decreased kidney function, intestinal bleeding, and allergic reactions. Make sure to seek urgent care if you experience any serious symptoms. It’s better to get your body checked out quickly.

Not everyone experiences these symptoms, but it might affect those who have cardiovascular disease, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. 

A healthcare professional will always recommend treatments that are safer for your body. 

How to Relieve Ibuprofen-Caused Constipation?

You can follow some home remedies to soothe your constipation and find pain relief. 

Drinking more water can help clear things out from your gut, especially painkillers that are triggering your body. Try consuming a gallon of water a day until you feel better. This should also rehydrate your body and prevent Ibuprofen from affecting your digestive system further. 

You might not feel like it, but exercise is a great way to relieve constipation. Physical activity can decrease the time it takes for food to pass through your large intestine. This prevents your body from absorbing too much water. Try going for a walk or try a few yoga poses.

If you don’t consume enough fiber, incorporate a fiber or probiotic supplement into your diet. These healthy substances work to fight constipation and bloating while also detoxifying your body.

A Word From Nutritionist

Ibuprofen can either soothe pain or trigger it in your digestive gut.

People with irritable bowels may often get constipation from anti-inflammatory medication. You can learn to drink more water or exercise throughout the day to prevent those bowel movements. Sweating during a workout can make you feel healthier overall.

If you have more serious health conditions, like heart disease or stomach ulcers, you should speak to a doctor before taking Ibuprofen. Medical professionals are the best people to converse with about side effects. They know what you should and shouldn’t take for pain.

Try to use natural home remedies before taking medication. Eat lots of fiber, experiment with herbal laxatives, or move to a keto diet to experience a cleaner gut. Incorporating these lifestyle changes into your routine should help prevent and treat constipation.


Constipation can be frustrating to treat, especially if you get it often. Medications like Ibuprofen can trigger digestive issues that ruin your ability to function and can be the cause of constipation. You may not experience side effects at all, but it’s better to speak to a doctor before taking any form of pain relief.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Was this article helpful?
Thank you! We received Your feedback

Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment!
We will review it as soon as possible.
Your Name
Missing required field
Your Comment
Missing required field