Some ibuprofen users exceed daily NSAID dose limit

Research has shown that exceeding the daily dose limit for NSAIDs, which is linked to side effects such as increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, is not uncommon.

Close up of woman taking ibuprofen tablet

Exceeding the recommended daily dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can have considerable side effects, such as increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. However, limited data are available on how often the daily limit is exceeded.

In Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety (26 January 2018), researchers surveyed 1,326 adults in the United States who had taken ibuprofen in the previous 30 days, and also reported taking the drug in a week-long diary of NSAID use[1]

Most diary users (90%) took ibuprofen during the week, and over a third (37%) took non-ibuprofen NSAIDs.

Overall, 15% of people exceeded the maximum daily dose for one or more NSAIDs, on one or more of the diary days. A further 4.5% exceeded the maximum aggregate NSAID dose without going over the limit for any individual NSAID. Survey responses indicated that exceeding the daily dose was most commonly caused by exceeding the one-time dose.

The results indicate that exceeding the recommended NSAID dose is not uncommon, and could be improved through better patient education about dosage, the team concluded.


[1] Kaufman D, Kelly J, Battista D et al. Exceeding the daily dosing limit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs among ibuprofen users. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf  2018. doi: 10.1002/pds.4391

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, April 2018, Vol 10, No 4;10(4):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20204456