The drugs are available without a prescription and are considered safe and effective, especially when treating minor to moderate headaches, muscles aches and joint pain. However, if they're used more frequently over a long period of time, they may pose a risk to other internal functions.
Ibuprofen, in particular, reduces inflammation, but it can also affect a group of chemicals called prostaglandins, which assist in bone formation. Weight training is known to boost prostaglandin production, but taking an NSAID after training can cancel out that benefit.
“NSAIDs shut down the favorable mechanism of prostaglandin synthesis that’s needed for bone formation," she explained. "You lose that benefit to the bone, so the bone is pretty much the same as if you did no weight training."