Combined Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen
Over-the-counter pain relievers that combine ibuprofen and acetaminophen into a single medication are now available to treat mild to moderate acute pain. Although ibuprofen and acetaminophen have been available separately for decades, the combination was not approved for over-the-counter purchase until 2020 in the United States and 2021 in Canada.
What are ibuprofen and acetaminophen?
Ibuprofen is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces inflammation, swelling and pain. Acetaminophen is an analgesic, or pain reliever, and a fever reducer. When the two medications are combined, they may relieve pain quicker and more effectively than taking either medication alone.
What it treats
This combination medication can treat several types of pain, including backaches, headaches, arthritis, dental pain, or menstrual cramps. It is generally considered a safe and effective treatment option. However, a health care professional should be consulted before taking any new medication.
A single dose of this combined medication includes 250 mg of acetaminophen and 125 mg of ibuprofen. No more than six doses should be taken each day.
Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be in other medications; therefore, individuals should ensure they do not take more than the maximum allowance for either medication. The maximum daily dose for acetaminophen is 4000 mg per day and the maximum daily dose for ibuprofen is 3200 mg per day. Caution should be implemented, as long-term use can lead to ulcers, stomach bleeding, liver damage, and increased risk of heart attack. Directions should be followed carefully on the prescription or package label.