By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Ibuprofen is a pain relieving medication. The dose appropriate for adults and children is determined based on the lowest effective known dose for those age groups and it should be used for the shortest duration possible.
The doses of ibuprofen recommended include:
For adults - The recommended daily dose of ibuprofen in adults is 1200 to 1800 mg per day in divided doses. Usually a dose of 600 to 1200 mg per day is sufficient and the total daily dose should not exceed 2400 mg. The highest possible dose should only be taken in cases of acute and severe pain and only until the acute phase has been brought under control. Once the acute pain has passed, the dose should be reduced to the usual recommended daily dose.
For children - In children, the daily recommended dose for ibuprofen is 20 mg per kg of body weight in divided doses. In children with severe pain caused by juvenile arthritis, for example, a dose of up to 40 mg per kg of body weight in divided doses may be allowed. For children weighing less than 30 kg the total dose per day should not exceed 500 mg per day.
For elderly patients - The elderly are at an increased risk of the adverse side effects associated with ibuprofen and doses should be administered with great caution in this age group, especially among those with impaired liver or kidney function.
Availability and duration of action
In most countries, ibuprofen is available over the counter as 200 mg and sometimes 400 mg tablets. The dose dependent action of the drug is around 4 to 8 hours.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc