Hangovers, pulled muscles, menstrual cramps, the flu: Ibuprofen is the first line of defense for all sorts of things. You know the drug is working because it dulls the pain or takes the edge off a fever, but what, exactly, is making this happen?
Ibuprofen — brand name Advil, Motrin, and more — belongs to a class of drugs that physicians call nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. In practice, this means that ibuprofen relieves pain by blocking cells’ production of prostaglandins, one of several compounds responsible for inflammation — which is the body’s response to injury.
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