Advil is an over the counter (OTC) medication used to relieve pain, reduce fever, and decrease inflammation. The active ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Advil works by inhibiting the production of enzymes called cyclooxygenases (COX) in the body that produce chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are responsible for causing pain, fever, and inflammation. By inhibiting their production, Advil helps to relieve pain, reduce fever, and decrease inflammation.
Use and Dosage
To use Advil OTC, you should read the label instructions carefully and follow the dosing instructions. Adults can generally take 200-400mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 1200mg per day. The exact dosage and frequency of use may depend on factors such as the condition being treated and the person’s age and weight. Children’s Advil is also available and should only be given under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Do not exceed the recommended dose or frequency of use, as this can increase the risk of side effects. You should also talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil if you have any medical conditions or take other medications, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you experience any side effects or have any concerns about using Advil, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can also provide more specific instructions on how to use Advil based on your individual circumstances.
Common Side Effects of Advil OTC (Ibuprofen – Generic Non-Rx):
- Blurred vision
- Mild heartburn
- Ringing in your ears
- Skin itching or rash
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Advil OTC (Ibuprofen – Generic Non-Rx):
- Black, bloody, or tarry stools
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Headache with a severe blistering
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Neck stiffness
- Peeling, and red skin rash
- Problem with vision or balance
- Purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions)
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Sore throat
- Swelling or rapid weight gain
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
Forms and Strength
Advil OTC (Ibuprofen – Generic Non-Rx) is available in the following forms and strength:
Advil OTC: Tablet
- 200 mg
Ibuprofen – Generic Non-Rx: Tablet
- 200 mg
- Stomach bleeding: NSAIDs (including ibuprofen) can increase the risk of stomach bleeding, especially in people who are over 60 years old, have a history of stomach ulcers, or take blood thinning medications.
- Kidney damage: NSAIDs can also affect kidney function, especially in people who already have kidney problems or are dehydrated. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids while taking Advil to help protect your kidneys.
- Cardiovascular risks: Taking high doses of NSAIDs over an extended period of time may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to Advil, which can range from mild (such as a rash) to severe (such as difficulty breathing).
- Interactions with other medications: It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil if you are already taking other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as there may be interactions.
- Asthma: NSAIDs can exacerbate asthma symptoms in some people. If you have asthma, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil.
- Pregnancy: NSAIDs have been associated with an increased risk of birth defects when taken during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Pregnant women should talk to their healthcare provider before taking Advil.
- Breastfeeding: Advil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. You should talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil while breastfeeding.
- Liver damage: Taking high doses of Advil over an extended period of time can damage the liver.
- Interaction with alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking Advil can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and liver damage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Advil safe to take?
When used as directed, Advil is generally considered safe. However, there are some possible cautions and side effects to be aware of. You should read the label instructions carefully and talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil.
How soon after taking Advil can I expect to feel relief?
The time it takes for Advil to start working depends on the person and the condition being treated. Generally, it can take 20-30 minutes to start working for mild pain and up to an hour for more severe pain.
Can I take Advil with other medications?
Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil with other medications, as there may be interactions.
How long can I take Advil for?
You should not take Advil for more than 10 days unless directed by a healthcare provider. Longer-term use can increase the risk of side effects.
Can I take Advil if I have a history of stomach ulcers?
You should use caution when taking Advil if you have a history of stomach ulcers, as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding. You should talk to your healthcare provider before taking Advil in this case.