December 9, 2022

Is it possible to take paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time? What is the difference between these pain relievers?


There are many reasons we can experience pain, but sometimes it can be difficult to deal with.

It doesn’t matter if you have a headache or a broken bone, you may be wondering when you should be getting more pain relief.


Here are all the details on the Pain Relief Blend

Paracetamol as well as ibuprofen both work well for pain relief. However, not everyone can use them. Some people are advised to avoid them.

Some people may be able to take them at the same time, but it could be dangerous for others.

New data from LloydsPharmacy has revealed that most Britons experience some type of physical discomfort at least once a day, but only one in five (22%) take no action to relieve the pain.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the Pain Relief Blend.

Can paracetamol be taken with ibuprofen?

If you are 16 or olderThe NHS has some advice that it is perfectly safe to take paracetamol and ibuprofen together.

You have the option of taking one or both tablets at the same time, or separately.

You could, for example, spread your doses 4 hours to 2 hours apart.

However, the healthcare system advises you to think carefully if you really need both, and to see your GP if self-medication continues after three days.

It is possible to mix both drugs and alcohol, although it is best to avoid excessive alcohol consumption if you are not feeling well.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can also be purchased over the counter.

What is the difference between ibuprofen and paracetamol?

The main difference between drugs is that ibuprofen has an anti-inflammatory effect, unlike paracetamol.

These drugs can be taken every 4 hours and are used to control fever and pain.

However, ibuprofen is a more effective anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) because it reduces inflammation.

There are two types of inflammation: they can be signs of infection and a reaction of the body. It can be used to relieve arthritis, period pain, back pain or toothache. It can be used to reduce swelling due to sprains / strains. However, the NHS advises you to wait at least 48 hours to make sure the healing process does not slow down.

The main difference between the two is that ibuprofen should be avoided on an empty stomach. This is because it can irritate the lining of the stomach and lead to ulcers.

Ibuprofen works best when taken together or right after eating.

Paracetamol does not need to be taken with food. It is safe to take with most other medicines.

Under what circumstances should paracetamol and ibuprofen not be used together?

A child should not be given ibuprofen or paracetamol at the same time.

The NHS suggests that you switch to another pain reliever if the first one doesn’t seem to be working.

Who should take which pain reliever?

The body also breaks down paracetamol and ibuprofen differently.

Some people cannot take ibuprofen.

  • You have ever had an allergy to ibuprofen.
  • You have had allergic reactions such as wheezing, runny nose or skin reactions following the administration of aspirin or another NSAID.
  • Are you trying to get pregnant?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?

You should tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking ibuprofen if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • An ulcer or perforation of the stomach can occur if there is bleeding.
  • If you have a condition that increases your risk of bleeding,
  • Liver problems, such as liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Heart disease and severe heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Chickenpox or shingles – taking ibuprofen may increase the risk of certain infections and skin reactions

What side effects can paracetamol or ibuprofen have?

Paracetamol can cause side effects in small doses. However, the NHS says it can cause:

  • A reaction to allergens which can lead to a rash or swelling
  • Hot flashes, low blood pressure and fast heartbeat – this can sometimes happen when paracetamol is given in a hospital into a vein in your arm
  • Blood disorders such as leukopenia and thrombocytopenia are two examples.
  • Damage to the liver and kidneys, if you take too much – it can be fatal in severe cases

Too much ibuprofen can cause side effects such as:

  • Feel and be sick
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling tired or drowsy
  • Black poop and blood in your vomit – a sign of bleeding in your stomach
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Difficulty breathing, changes in heart rate

These side effects can be caused by paracetamol and ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor.

If they use ibuprofen, they have a greater risk of stomach ulcers in the elderly. It is also important to avoid taking ibuprofen if you have a chronic illness.

Pregnant women should avoid using ibuprofen and are generally advised to take paracetamol.

Paracetamol should also be used with caution.

The University of Edinburgh conducted a study in 2018 which found that pain relievers used during pregnancy can affect fertility. This is because they reduce the number of cells in a fetus that become cells that produce sperm or eggs.

How long should you wait before taking paracetamol?

Paracetamol is usually taken as one to two 500 mg tablets for adults, up to four times a day.

Between doses you should allow four hours.

The usual dose of ibuprofen is one to three 200 mg tablets per day.

Sometimes a doctor may prescribe a higher dose up to 600 mg four times a day.

It is best to take ibuprofen 3 times a day. Wait at least 6 hours between each dose.

If you take it four times a day, leave at least four hours between each dose.

Your doctor may recommend ibuprofen slow-release capsules or tablets for people with chronic pain.

If you take ibuprofen twice a day, it’s a good idea to take it once a day in the evening.

What happens if you take too much paracetamol or ibuprofen.

It is possible to become addicted to paracetamol and ibuprofen.

If your pain is severe, do not be tempted to take twice the dose.

You should call your doctor immediately if you think you have taken too much or overdosed.

Don’t drive to A&E yourself – have someone else drive you or call an ambulance.

You must bring the blister pack or the full leaflet of the pill with you, as well as any other medicine.

How many consecutive days can paracetamol and ibuprofen be taken?

The NHS recommends that you take the lowest possible dose of ibuprofen tablets for as short a time as possible.

It may be necessary to take the pain only for a short time, such as toothache and period pain.

It should not be used for more than 10 days without consulting your doctor. Also, do not use ibuprofen spray, foam or gel for more than two weeks without consulting your doctor.

If you have a long-term health problem, such as rheumatoid arthritis, you may need to take ibuprofen more often.

Your doctor may recommend a medicine to protect your stomach from side effects if you take ibuprofen for more than six months.

Paracetamol is a drug that should be consumed in small amounts.

If the symptoms you are experiencing and for which you are taking the tables do not improve within three days, then you should see your GP or call NHS 111.

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