10 Alternatives to Ibuprofen — The Pain ‘Killer’

Do you often pop Ibuprofen to get instant relief from headaches, toothaches, arthritis, back pain, menstrual cramps, fever, inflammation, and pain due to minor injuries? Well, one of the commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, either of which can lead to death.

The FDA warned of heart attack and stroke risk for NSAID in 2015:

This vulnerable population [who already has had a heart attack] is at an increased risk of having another heart attack or dying of heart attack-related causes if they’re treated with NSAIDs. But the risk is also present in people without cardiovascular disease… NSAIDs are effective treatments for pain, inflammation and fever. Consumers can still take them but should be aware of this increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially at higher doses.

Ibuprofen can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, heart burn, indigestion, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and inflammation, aggravation of asthma symptoms, and allergies. Overdose of Ibuprofen can cause disorientation, sweating, abdominal cramps and restlessness. Long term use of Ibuprofen can damage the kidneys and have severe gastrointestinal effects.

While all drugs have side-effects – even Aspirin – Ibuprofen has been found to pose the same cardiovascular risk as Vioxx. Vioxx is a drug that was removed from the market in 2004 after causing nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deathsbetween 1999 and 2003.


So, the next time you decide to pop Ibuprofen, be cautious – the very medication that you need to ease your pain could prove dangerous. Or better still, try one of these alternatives:

Ginger – Ginger capsules (250 mg, four times a day) are as effective as Ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle.

Arnica – Topical treatment with arnica is as effective as Ibuprofen – with fewer side effects – for .

Astaxanthin, Ginkgo Biloba and Vitamin C – This combination is equal to or better than Ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.

Chinese Skullcap – A compound in Chinese skullcap, known as baicalin, possesses an analgesic effect in carrageenan-evoked thermal hyperalgesia and is equipotent to Ibuprofen in reducing inflammatory pain.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) are as effective as Ibuprofen – with fewer side effects – in reducing arthritis pain.

Panax Ginseng – Panax ginseng has analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to Ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.

St. John’s Wort – St. John’s Wort is twice as effective as Ibuprofen as a pain-killer.

Anthrocyanins – Anthrocyanins extracted from raspberries and sweet cherries are as effective as Ibuprofen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.

Holy Basil – Holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory activity comparable to Ibuprofen.

Virgin Olive Oil – Virgin olive oil contains numerous phenolic compounds that exert potent anti-inflammatory actions. Recently discovered phenolic compound oleocanthal in virgin olive oil, possessessimilar anti-inflammatory properties to Ibuprofen.

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