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Acetaminophen and ibuprofen

Generic Name: acetaminophen and ibuprofen (a SEET a MIN oh fen and EYE bue PROE fen)
Brand Name: Advil Dual Action With Acetaminophen
Dosage Forms: oral tablet (250 mg-125 mg)

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 21, 2020. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen is a combination medicine that is used to treat pain caused by many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, and menstrual cramps.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Use acetaminophen and ibuprofen exactly as directed. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Ibuprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Ibuprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using ibuprofen, especially in older adults.

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or another NSAID.

Ibuprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Ibuprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using acetaminophen and ibuprofen, especially in older adults.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have ever had:

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, you should not take acetaminophen and ibuprofen unless your doctor tells you to. Taking an NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems in the unborn baby and possible complications with your pregnancy.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Take with food if acetaminophen and ibuprofen upsets your stomach.

Do not take more than 6 caplets in a 24-hour period. An ibuprofen overdose can damage your stomach or intestines. An acetaminophen overdose can damage your liver or cause death.

Call your doctor if your pain does not improve after 10 days, or if you have any new symptoms such as redness or swelling.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since acetaminophen and ibuprofen is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Overdose symptoms may include weakness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, yellowing of your skin or eyes, shallow breathing, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

Do not use any other medicine that may contain acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP), or you could have a fatal overdose.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to ibuprofen (such as aspirin, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding or liver damage.

Avoid taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen if you are taking aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack. Ibuprofen can make aspirin less effective in protecting your heart and blood vessels.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat) or signs of a heart attack or stroke (chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, leg swelling, feeling short of breath).

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • little or no urination;

  • loss of appetite, new or worsening stomach pain;

  • bloody or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

Ask your doctor before using acetaminophen and ibuprofen if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Other drugs may affect acetaminophen and ibuprofen, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

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