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Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Generic Name: Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Uses of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen:

  • It is used to ease pain, swelling, and fever.
  • It is used to treat arthritis.
  • It is used to ease painful period (menstrual) cycles.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen?

  • If you have an allergy to ibuprofen, aspirin, NSAIDS, or any other part of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • If you are allergic to ibuprofen and acetaminophen; any part of ibuprofen and acetaminophen; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are taking any other NSAID.
  • If you are taking a salicylate drug like aspirin.
  • If you abuse alcohol or have a drinking problem.
  • If you have or have ever had any of these health problems: Crohn's disease, hole in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding, or ulcerative colitis.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you are having trouble getting pregnant or you are having your fertility checked.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take ibuprofen and acetaminophen if you are in the third trimester of pregnancy. You may also need to avoid ibuprofen and acetaminophen at other times during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor to see when you need to avoid taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen during pregnancy.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take ibuprofen and acetaminophen with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take ibuprofen and acetaminophen. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how ibuprofen and acetaminophen affects you.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on ibuprofen and acetaminophen for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • High blood pressure has happened with drugs like this one. Have your blood pressure checked as you have been told by your doctor.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • This medicine has paracetamol (acetaminophen) in it. Liver problems have happened with the use of paracetamol. Sometimes, this has led to a liver transplant or death. Most of the time, liver problems happened in people taking too much paracetamol in a day. People were also often taking more than 1 drug that had paracetamol.
  • Avoid taking other products that have paracetamol (acetaminophen) in them. Check labels closely. Too much paracetamol (acetaminophen) may cause liver problems.
  • Follow the directions exactly. Do not take more paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a day than directed. If you do not know how much paracetamol (acetaminophen) you can take in a day, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Some people may take up to 4,000 mg (milligrams) in a day if told to do so by the doctor. Some people (like people with liver problems and children) should take less paracetamol (acetaminophen). Call your doctor right away if you have taken too much paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a day even if you feel well.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • If you have asthma, talk with your doctor. You may be more sensitive to ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • This medicine may raise the risk of heart and blood vessel problems like heart attack and stroke. These effects can be deadly. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or risks for heart disease. However, it can also be raised even if you do not have heart disease or risks for heart disease. The risk can happen within the first weeks of using ibuprofen and acetaminophen and may be greater with higher doses or long-term use. Do not use ibuprofen and acetaminophen right before or after bypass heart surgery.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of severe and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel problems like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people, and in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs.
  • If you are taking aspirin to help prevent a heart attack, talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of a very bad brain problem called aseptic meningitis. Call your doctor right away if you have a headache, fever, chills, very upset stomach or throwing up, stiff neck, rash, bright lights bother your eyes, feeling sleepy, or feeling confused.
  • Different brands of ibuprofen and acetaminophen may have different doses for children. Talk with the doctor before giving ibuprofen and acetaminophen to a child.
  • If you are 65 or older, use ibuprofen and acetaminophen with care. You could have more side effects.
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen may affect egg release (ovulation) in women. This may cause you to not be able to get pregnant. This goes back to normal when ibuprofen and acetaminophen is stopped. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen) best taken?

Use ibuprofen and acetaminophen as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not take ibuprofen and acetaminophen for longer than you were told by your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take ibuprofen and acetaminophen on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times ibuprofen and acetaminophen is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Very bad back pain.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Stomach pain or heartburn.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas.
  • Dizziness.
  • Not hungry.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen?

  • Store in the original container at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about ibuprofen and acetaminophen, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.