Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area, Kentucky
The Dangers of Ibuprofen
I'm writing this as a public service announcement to educate others how dangerous Ibruprofen or other types of anti-inflammatories are.
This is a very recent experience of mine and I'm sharing this to help others because I know that many use ibruprofen for over the counter pain relief.
In recent health issues of mine, I made a decision to try and help myself in ways the doctors haven't as of late, knowing that the medicines prescribed were not working. This has to do with leg issues, but it really points to inflammation of certain parts of my body, the same as it would be for everyone else.
My use of ibruprofen started out very gradual, then started to be a normal occurrence of using, constantly eating these pills as the medicine to me seemed harmless since it wasn't prescribed and could be easily found anywhere in any gas station, corner store, walgreens, anywhere.
I made the mistake of taking well beyond the measured intake as I would take the medicine according to pain level, which was very high. Sooner than later, I was taking the medicine in enormous amounts as it coordinated with my pain level accordingly so I did not see any issues with it whatsoever.
And that is where the downfall began.
Weeks prior to my near death experience, I had noticed blackened stool on a regular basis, thinking the dark chocolate candy I ate before bedtime every night (most times only 4-5 hours sleep) was ending up out the other end. How foolish of me to believe such a possibility. It was internal bleeding, lots of it before the tire blowout came over 2 tuesdays ago.
On the morning of the 14th of June, I awoke very ill, feeling sick. Went to the bathroom with no relief, returned to my bed where I knew I would puke soon enough.
I did, and when I did it was bright red blood. When I stopped, I lifted back and sat on the bed, felt what was a rupture inside my stomach.
It was blood, large amounts of blood filling up my stomach. It was then I reached out to someone to call 911 immediately. I had an ambulance arrive and then I changed my mind.
Unbelievably stupid, only because of the costs involved.
So, as insane as it sounds, I went and laid down, for an entire day. What I was suffering from was a massive GI bleed caused by the use of Ibruprofen or NSAIDS, products easily bought and used by many for swelling/inflammation.
This massive GI bleed had hit an artery inside my stomach, just bellowing blood into my stomach.
I should of died. I should be a 'former' member here... hands never typing another response, anywhere on the internet again. There was a fellow that had the same exact situation happen to him at a restaurant nearby... got up and left his chair from the table he'd just eaten at, never made it to the hospital as he bled to death internally before leaving the parking lot.
I could of instantly left this world in the same way, but I didn't. It almost comes naturally to speak about my situation because I know I'll help others in being aware of how this drug and others that are tied to NSAID's are so predictable to other problems long after it is too late to realize.
The Next Day
After an entire day of not going to the hospital, bed rest and making trips to the bathroom to expel the blood from my bowels was the common ritual, and here I felt that the blood flow had stopped/seized from continuing and that was my misunderstanding through it all... self diagnosis. Thinking it was okay. It wasn't.
That morning of the 15th, I woke up and everything 'seemed' normal, except that when I would get up to get something out of my fridge, I noticed I was heavily winded. I noticed when I going to the bathroom that I was becoming short of breath, starting to get dizzy each time I went to the bathroom. Then it got really bad.
Thank goodness I brought my cellphone with me, otherwise my efforts to call for help would of expired instantly. My decision to take that cellphone off of the bed was a good one as it was the lifesaver of the moment.
When I made it to the bathroom one last time to expel blood, I lost my eyesight, my hearing and my heart was beating out of my chest, losing all the blood from my extremities. I was alone, but wasn't scared, but getting there.
My eyesight was nearly 90% gone when I called, looking out of the very edges of my eyes. I was able to tell the paramedics "I'm dying in the basement of my home, door is open under the house into the basement.
EMTs arrived soon enough to stablize me the instant they saw me. I was white, lethargic and obviously low on blood due to the loss over 24 hours of the bleed.
They IV'd me in the bathroom, just to keep me stable before hauling me away.
I had lost 5 units of blood before I even arrived.
Transfusions of 4 units of blood were given to me, but the blood they gave me disappeared between my arrival at the hospital and in the morning where an upper endoscopy was done and revealed the massive GI ulceration that was over 1" in length, a tear into my stomach that had hit an artery.
It was serious. My chances of survival, just minutes of such an event is only 3%, and how I went over a day with a bleed like that without dying just instantly is amazing.
I had known that the night before that I took my medicines with only a couple jello cups, couple pieces of candy.
I had also dealt with hard pains in the stomach area just days before, not paying attention to the fact that maybe the toxicity of ibruprofen was causing problems.
That is exactly what it was that had set the wheels in motion. That equation of ibruprofen that over time had caused issues inside my stomach that led to the ulceration.
In the course of my 6 day stay in the hospital, I lost a total of 12 units of blood, including the 5 I lost before medics arrived. The GI doctor carterized my artery to stop the live bleed that following day in the hospital.
I thank the medical staff, nurses, doctors for saving my life. The least I can do at this point is try to turn around with my personal experience and let others read my story,
let them know how easily it was for me to take ibruprofen without a second guess, thinking it was 'okay' to take more to correspond with the pain I was dealing with.
That is not how it works. Especially not with ibruprofen.
Please, if you ever take anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief, especially ibruprofen, STOP TAKING IT IMMEDIATELY IF STOMACH PAIN BECOMES A PART OF THE EQUATION.
That very symptom I ignored, and it almost cost me my life. I should of died. 90% of all massive GI bleeds do, and I cut my chances of survival down even greater when I stayed away from the hospital and thought I'd get better on my own.
Someone above was watching out for me. Thank you, whoever you are. I value and appreciate life enough to share my story and hopefully protect a life.
Last edited by DUNBAR; 06-28-2011 at 11:29 AM.