What is ibuprofen? Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. This means that it reduces inflammation and relieves pain without the use of steroids. Acetaminophen is a similar over-the-counter pain reliever, but lacks the ability to reduce inflammation. There are a number of different ibuprofen brands, however, the actual components of the medicine remain the same between brands even though the inert ingredients may be different and the medicine may look different. Whereas acetaminophen is processed by the liver, ibuprofen is processed by the stomach. It can be hard on the stomach and in some cases may cause stomach upset, gastritis, and ulcers. Mixing ibuprofen with alcohol may exacerbate this side effect. Ibuprofen can be very useful after certain types of procedures where inflammation is present, such as after dental surgery, but it’s important to get the dosage right. Adult, child, and infant ibuprofen dosage varies, and you should consult a physician before administering.