Is Nurofen Addictive: Understanding Risks and Dependencies

Is Nurofen Addictive: Debunking Myths and Ensuring Safe Use

Have you ever wondered, ‘Is Nurofen addictive?’ Understanding the complexities of addiction and the risks associated with substances like Nurofen Plus is crucial for promoting informed choices and seeking appropriate support. Addiction, whether chemical or behavioral, can have profound impacts on physical and mental well-being. In the case of Nurofen Plus, its codeine component presents potential dangers that necessitate awareness and proactive steps towards responsible use and seeking help when needed.

Understanding Addiction and Risks of Nurofen Plus

  • Addiction: Addiction is a complex condition characterized by chronic dysfunction in the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory systems. It involves compulsive behavior related to substance use or certain activities, even when they cause harm or distress. There are two main types of addiction:
    • Chemical (Substance) Addiction: Chemical addiction refers to the habitual use of a substance and the compulsive need for it.

      Examples include substances like alcohol, nicotine, opioids, or prescription medications. Nurofen Plus, a non-prescription painkiller containing codeine and ibuprofen, can lead to physical and psychological dependence due to the opiate drug (codeine) included in the tablets.

    • Behavioral Addiction: Behavioral addiction involves repeated, persistent, and compulsive behaviors that do not offer clear benefits. Examples include gambling, gaming, shopping, or internet use.

      While Nurofen Plus primarily falls under chemical addiction, behavioral aspects may also play a role in addiction to it.

  • Risks of Nurofen Plus: Nurofen Plus poses risks due to its codeine component. Taking it in large amounts can lead to health issues, including liver damage, stomach problems, and an increased risk of a heart attack. Withdrawal symptoms from codeine can be challenging, and misuse of other codeine-containing drugs may occur.

    Seeking professional help is crucial for recovery from addiction.

Several orange pills spilled out of an open pill bottle.

IMG Source: evokewellness.com

Potential Risks of Nurofen

  • Stomach Ulcers: Nurofen may lead to stomach ulcers, especially with prolonged or high-dose usage.
  • Kidney Damage: Continuous use of Nurofen can harm the kidneys, so stick to recommended doses.
  • Cardiovascular Issues: While uncommon, Nurofen may pose a slight risk of heart-related problems.

Bar graph showing the percentage of yes and no answers between CKD and GP groups, with CKD having a significantly higher percentage of yes answers.

IMG Source: mdpi.com

Nurofen Plus Dependency Signs

  • Increasing Dosages: Individuals may find that they need to take higher dosages of Nurofen Plus to achieve the desired effects or to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Missing a dose or attempting to cut down on Nurofen Plus can lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping, fatigue, runny eyes and nose, sweating, and aching muscles.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Effects: Despite adverse effects on health, finances, relationships, and overall well-being, some individuals continue taking Nurofen Plus.
  • Unnecessary Usage: Taking Nurofen Plus even after the original source of pain has resolved or when there was no pain initially.
  • Seeking Multiple Sources: Visiting different shops, chemists, or buying tablets online to acquire Nurofen Plus.
  • Concealing Use: Hiding Nurofen Plus packets and keeping their usage secret from others.
  • Isolation: Becoming more isolated and withdrawn.

Moreover, individuals with a Nurofen Plus dependency may misuse other codeine-containing drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms. Excessive Nurofen Plus use can lead to health concerns like toxic doses of ibuprofen, resulting in liver damage, stomach issues, and an increased risk of a heart attack. Overdosing on Nurofen Plus can be fatal due to respiratory failure.

During Nurofen Plus withdrawal, early symptoms include irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping, fatigue, runny eyes and nose, sweating, and aching muscles.

Later in the withdrawal process, individuals may experience nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, enlarged pupils, and chills.

A couple is walking down a path in the woods, surrounded by colorful trees.

IMG Source: priorygroup.com

Mental Health Support Options

  • Your Doctor (GP): Your local General Practitioner (GP) is a great place to start. They can diagnose, provide support and treatments like therapy and medication, and refer you to a mental health specialist if necessary. They can also recommend local support options.
  • Trained Therapists and Counselors: These professionals offer various therapies through the NHS.

    Your doctor can refer you to them, or in some cases, you may be able to contact them directly.

  • Emergency Support: In case of a crisis and urgent help needed, consider emergency support options. Visit the Mind website for more information on getting help during a crisis.

Remember, it’s always okay to seek help, even if you’re unsure about your mental health. Seeking support is a courageous step towards well-being.


A green and white box of Nurofen Express Maximum Strength 400mg tablets.

IMG Source: lloydspharmacy.ie

In conclusion, the potential risks of Nurofen Plus misuse, including addiction, underscore the importance of being mindful of one’s usage patterns and seeking professional guidance when concerns arise. From the risks of stomach ulcers and kidney damage to the challenges of withdrawal symptoms and escalating dosages, the journey towards recovery from Nurofen Plus dependency requires diligence, support, and a commitment to well-being. Remember, reaching out to healthcare professionals and mental health specialists can provide valuable assistance in navigating the complexities of addiction and ensuring a path towards healthier choices and sustainable recovery.

Taking proactive steps and seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous stride towards a balanced and fulfilling life.


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