I've heard it said that when in doubt use (or administer) Ibuprofen. The idea being that it's a safe, general-purpose medical tool. Assuming you follow the instructions on the bottle, is this a viable strategy? Or are there situations or scenarios where it would be better to err on the side of doing nothing? Are there situations or scenarios where you would definitely want to not use Ibuprofen, again assuming you at least follow the instructions.

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    This is much too broad. There are countless problems one can elaborate on (headache? shoulder pain? stomach ache? flu? nosebleed? chest pain? fracture? snake bite? rash? minor aches and pains? major aches and pains? fever?) Are you asking about all of these and more? Literally, there are innumerable scenarios for which you're asking a blanket answer to cover. If you want an actual answer, you need to focus your question to something answerable. Jan 27, 2016 at 4:32
  • It's intentionally broad. I see the question is up for being closed, but I don't think this is good for the site. Some questions about health are very broad because health is an extremely broad subject, as you pointed out. When you're not an expert, yet are faced with pressing needs, you would like to have a rule of thumb. I believe that it's unrealistic to have a health site that excludes discussions related to broad and imprecise rules of thumb. The subject of health is immense and health issues are serious, if not occasionally life-critical. As such, there's just no way around it.
    – user11077
    Feb 1, 2016 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


For every individual situation, one must weigh the risks vs. the benefits. If the potential or actual benefits outweigh the potential or actual risks, and the situation calls for ibuprophen, you take the medication.

If the potential benefits don't outweigh the potential risks, you don't take the medication.

The risks vary from individual to individual and from situation to situation.

There is no blanket answer to your question.

A Review of Quantitative Risk–Benefit Methodologies for Assessing Drug Safety and Efficacy—Report of the ISPOR Risk–Benefit Management Working Group, J. Guo et al, Value in Health, Volume 13, Issue 5, APR 2010

  • There is no blanket answer to your question. That's a fair answer to my question. Can you provide one concrete case where Ibuprofen must not be administered, assuming you're already following the directions on the label?
    – user11077
    Feb 1, 2016 at 6:08

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