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Generic Name: ibuprofen
Product Name: Brufen

Indication: What Brufen is used for

Brufen relieves pain and reduces inflammation (swelling, redness or soreness) that may occur:

Brufen also relieves fever (high temperature).

Although Brufen can relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation, it will not cure your condition.

Your doctor may have prescribed Brufen for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Brufen has been prescribed for you.

This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Brufen is not addictive.

Action: How Brufen works

Brufen belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs). It possesses analgesic and antipyretic activities. Its mode of action, like that of other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, is not completely understood but may be related to prostaglandin synthetase inhibition.

The active ingredient in Brufen tablets is ibuprofen.

Brufen 400mg tablets contain 400mg ibuprofen per tablet. It also contains the inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, colloidal anhydrous silica, sodium lauryl sulfate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, purified talc, titanium dioxide.

Brufen does not contain gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.

Dose advice: How to use Brufen

Before you take Brufen

When you must not take it

Do not take Brufen if you have an allergy to:

  • Any product containing ibuprofen or any of the ingredients in Brufen listed here;
  • Aspirin or any other NSAID medicine.

Many medicines used to treat headache, period pain and other aches and pains contain aspirin or NSAID medicines. If you are not sure if you are taking any of these medicines, ask your pharmacist.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to these medicines may include:

  • Asthma, wheezing or shortness of breath;
  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
  • Hives, itching or skin rash;
  • Stomach ache, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting;
  • Fainting.

If you are allergic to aspirin or NSAID medicines and take Brufen, these symptoms may be severe.

Do not take Brufen if:

  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Brufen may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy;
  • You are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. Brufen passes into breast milk and may affect your baby;
  • You have (or have previously) vomited blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • You are (or have previously) bled from the rectum (back passage), have black sticky bowel motions (stools) or bloody diarrhoea;
  • You have a condition resulting in an increased tendency to bleed;
  • You have a peptic ulcer (i.e. stomach or duodenal ulcer), a recent history of one, or have had peptic ulcers before;
  • You have, or have a history of, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease;
  • You have severe heart failure;
  • You have severe liver failure;
  • You have severe kidney disease.

If you are not sure whether you should start taking Brufen, contact your doctor.

Do not take Brufen if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. Do not take Brufen if the expiry date (EXP) printed on the label has passed.

Before you start to take it

Tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies to:
    • Any other medicines including aspirin or other NSAID medicines;
    • Any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes;
  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Like most NSAID medicines, Brufen is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. It may also impair female fertility;
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Like most NSAID medicines, Brufen is not recommended while you are breastfeeding;
  • You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
    • Heart disease or high blood pressure;
    • Heartburn, indigestion, stomach ulcer or any other stomach problems;
    • Vomiting blood or bleeding from the back passage;
    • Severe skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome;
    • Asthma;
    • Vision problems;
    • Liver or kidney disease;
    • Tendency to bleed or other blood problems;
    • Bowel or intestinal problems such as ulcerative colitis;
    • Heart failure;
    • Swelling of ankles or feet;
    • Diarrhoea;
  • You currently have an infection. If you take Brufen while you have an infection, it may hide some of the signs and symptoms of an infection. This may make you think, mistakenly, that you are better or that it is not serious;
  • You plan to have surgery.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Brufen.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines may interfere with each other. These include:

  • Aspirin, salicylates or other NSAID medicines;
  • Warfarin or clopidogrel, medicines used to stop blood clots;
  • Lithium, a medicine used to treat some types of depression;
  • SSRIs such as sertraline, medicines used to treat depression;
  • Medicines used to treat high blood pressure or other heart conditions;
  • Diuretics, also called fluid tablets;
  • Methotrexate, a medicine used to treat arthritis and some types of cancer;
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, cortisone;
  • Medicines used to treat heart failure such as digoxin;
  • Cyclosporin or tacrolimus, medicines used to treat certain problems with the immune system or to help prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • Aminoglycosides, medicines used to treat certain infections;
  • Gingko Biloba, a herbal medicine used to thin the blood;
  • Quinolone antibiotics, medicines used to treat certain infections;
  • Zidovudine, a medicine used to treat HIV;
  • Cholestyramine, a medicine used to treat high cholesterol;
  • Sulfonylureas, medicines to treat diabetes;
  • Voriconazole or fluconazole, medicines to treat certain fungal infections.

These medicines may be affected by Brufen or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.

Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Brufen.

How to take Brufen

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. These directions may differ from the information contained here.

If you do not understand the instructions on the pack, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

How much to take

Your doctor will tell you how many Brufen tablets to take each day and when to take them. Take the exact amount your doctor tells you to, no more or less.


The usual daily dose of Brufen 400mg tablets is one tablet taken three or four times a day. In acute conditions, your doctor may prescribe two tablets three times a day. Do not take more than six tablets in one day.

It is usual for elderly patients to be prescribed a smaller dose of Brufen than younger adult patients.

Period pain

The usual dose of Brufen tablets is one to two tablets at the first sign of menstrual bleeding. Then take one tablet every 4 to 6 hours as necessary. Do not take more than four tablets in one day.


The dose of Brufen will depend on the age and weight of your child, and the illness. Your doctor will tell you how much Brufen to give your child.

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. These directions may differ from the information contained here.

How to take it

Take Brufen tablets with or straight after food with a full glass of water. This may help reduce the possibility of an upset stomach.

How long to take it

Do not take Brufen for longer than your doctor says. Depending on your condition, you may need Brufen for a few days, a few weeks or for longer periods.

As with other NSAID medicines, if you are taking Brufen for arthritis, it will not cure your condition but it should help to control pain, swelling and stiffness. It usually begins to work within a few hours but several weeks may pass before you feel the full effects of the medicine. If you have arthritis, Brufen should be taken every day for as long as your doctor prescribes.

For menstrual cramps (period pain), Brufen is usually taken at the first sign of pain or menstrual bleeding (whichever comes first). Treatment should be continued for a few days until the pain goes away.

If you are not sure how long to take your Brufen, talk to your doctor.

If you forget to take it

If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets as you would normally.

Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.

If you are not sure whether to skip the dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Brufen. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

If you take too much Brufen you may:

  • Feel sick or vomit;
  • Have stomach pain;
  • Have convulsions;
  • Feel dizzy or even become unconscious.

While you are using Brufen

Things you must do

If you become pregnant while taking Brufen tell your doctor immediately.

If you are about to be started on any new medicine tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Brufen.

Tell all of the doctors, dentists, and pharmacists that are treating you that you are taking Brufen.

If you are going to have surgery, make sure the surgeon and anaesthetist know you are taking Brufen. NSAID medicines can slow down blood clotting.

If you get an infection while using Brufen, tell your doctor. Brufen may hide some of the signs of an infection and may make you think mistakenly, that you are better or that it is not serious. Signs of an infection may include fever, pain, swelling and redness.

Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.

Tell your doctor if you feel the medicine is not helping your condition. This will help your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

Be sure to keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may want to take some blood tests from time to time. This helps to prevent unwanted side effects.

Tell your doctor if you get any visual disturbances such as blurred vision. You may need to have an eye examination to make sure Brufen is not causing any side effects.

Things you must not do

Do not take any other medicines to relieve pain and reduce inflammation while you are taking Brufen without first telling your doctor. This includes:

  • Aspirin (also called acetylsalicylic acid);
  • Other medicines containing ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Brufen;
  • Any other NSAID medicine.

Do not take Brufen to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.

Do not give Brufen to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Brufen affects you. As with other NSAID medicines, Brufen may cause dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness or blurred vision in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous.

After using Brufen


Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the pack they may not keep well.

Keep the tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Do not store Brufen or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.

Keep it where young children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.


If your doctor tells you to stop taking Brufen or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that is left over.

Things that would be helpful for your arthritis

Some self-help measures suggested below may help your condition. Talk to your doctor, physiotherapist, or pharmacist about these measures and for more information.


Your doctor may suggest losing some weight to reduce the stress on your joints.


It may be recommended by your doctor or physiotherapist to help keep or improve movement and strengthen muscles. Ask a physiotherapist for an exercise plan suited to your condition. As a general rule if any exercise hurts then do not do it.


It is important and is usually balanced with exercise and activity. Rest is needed when joints are hot, swollen or painful.


Hot showers or baths may help to ease the pain and relax the muscles that can become tense with arthritis. Your physiotherapist or doctor can prescribe other forms of heat treatment.

Physical aids

These are available to help with daily household tasks. For example, there are gadgets and aids to help turn on taps, remove screw tops, pick up objects and handles that can be fitted in bathrooms. Ask your doctor to give you information.

Schedule of Brufen

Brufen is an S4 – prescription only medicine.

Side effects of Brufen

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Brufen. Brufen helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people.

As with most medicines, if you are over 65 years of age, you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.

All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

These side effects are usually mild.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Severe pain or tenderness in the stomach;
  • Eye problems such as blurred vision, sore red eyes, itching;
  • Signs of frequent or worrying infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers;
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, reddish or purplish blotches under the skin;
  • Signs of anaemia, such as tiredness, headaches, being short of breath, and looking pale;
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, also called jaundice;
  • Unusual weight gain, swelling of ankles or legs;
  • Tingling of the hands and feet;
  • Symptoms of sunburn (such as redness, itching, swelling, blistering) which may occur more quickly than normal;
  • Severe or persistent headache;
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats, also called palpitations.

These may be serious side effects of Brufen. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

If any of the following happen, stop taking Brufen and tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:

  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds;
  • Bleeding from the back passage, black sticky bowel motions (stools) or bloody diarrhoea;
  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
  • Asthma, wheezing, shortness of breath;
  • Sudden or severe itching, skin rash, hives;
  • Severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome);
  • Fever, generally feeling unwell, nausea, stomach ache, headache and stiff neck.

Brufen may be associated with a small increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Blood disorders and kidney problems may occur with Brufen.

These may be very serious side effects of Brufen. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.

Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making your feeling unwell.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Brufen Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Millers Point, NSW: Mylan Health Pty Ltd. July 2017. [PDF]
  2. Brufen Product Information (PI). Millers Point, NSW: Mylan Health Pty Ltd. July 2017. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 20 March, 2018
Reviewed On: 20 March, 2018


Created by: myVMC