What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen (chemical formula: C13H18O2) is a white crystalline powder with a characteristic odour and slight taste. It does not mix well in water but is soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether and acetone. 

What is Ibuprofen used for?

Ibuprofen is a medication classed as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Usually administered orally, although it can be administered intravenously, it has pain relief, anti-inflammatory and fever reducing properties. Conditions typically treated with the drug include; headaches, menstrual cramping, arthritis, dental pain, fever, swelling and mild to moderate aches and pains.    

Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter, fast acting pain relief medication
Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter, fast acting pain relief medication

Ibuprofen Hazards

The routes of exposure for ibuprofen include; inhalation, ingestion and skin and eye contact. 

Inhalation of ibuprofen over prolonged periods may produce respiratory discomfort and distress as well as damage to the health of the individual. People with already compromised respiratory function (conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis), may suffer further disability upon inhalation. Those with prior circulatory, nervous system or kidney damage should also take extra precautions when handling the chemical. 

Ingestion of high concentrations of ibuprofen can lead to symptoms including; headaches, dizziness, nervousness, vomiting, skin rashes, cramps, tinnitus, oedema, depression, drowsiness, insomnia, blurred vision, peptic ulcers, nausea, mental confusion, numbness and sweating, amongst others.  

Ibuprofen is not thought to be a skin irritant, but abrasive damage can result from prolonged exposure. Systemic effects can result following entry into the bloodstream, so it is important that the skin is inspected for open cuts or wounds prior to handling the chemical. 

Direct eye exposure to the chemical may cause transient discomfort characterised by tearing and redness. Slight abrasive damage may also result. 

Ibuprofen Safety

If inhaled, remove the patient from the contaminated area to the nearest fresh air source. Lay the patient down and keep them warm and rested. If the patient is not breathing and you are qualified to do so, perform CPR, preferably with a bag-valve mask device. Seek medical attention.

If swallowed, urgent hospital treatment is likely to be needed. If medical attention is at least 15 minutes away, inducing vomiting is recommended, ensuring the patient is leaning forward or placed on their left side to prevent aspiration. 

In the event of skin exposure, remove all contaminated clothing, footwear and accessories and flush the affected area with plenty of soap and running water. Seek medical attention in the event of irritation.

If exposed to the eyes, flush the eyes out immediately with fresh running water, remembering to wash under the eyelids. Removal of contact lenses should only be done by a skilled individual. Seek medical attention without delay if pain persists. 

Ibuprofen Safety Handling

Emergency eyewash fountains and safety showers should be accessible in the immediate area of the potential exposure to the chemical and there should always be adequate ventilation to remove or dilute any air contaminants (install local exhaust if necessary). 

The PPE recommended when handling ibuprofen includes; chemical goggles, full face shields,  respirators with HEPA filters, PVC gloves, protective shoe covers, head coverings and lab coats/coveralls.

For more information on how to safely handle ibuprofen, refer to your SDS. Click here for a trial of our SDS Management Software or contact us at sales@chemwatch.net for more information about our chemicals management solutions. 

Chemwatch has the largest collection of SDS in the world. For a FREE copy of the Chemwatch-authored SDS for Ibuprofen, click the button below.