May 20, 2022

Paracetamol: Ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe together but should not be taken with other medicines


Paracetamol is a commonly used medicine that can help treat pain and lower a high temperature. It is available in combination with other pain relievers and anti-disease drugs. It is also an ingredient in a wide range of cold and flu remedies.

Despite their popularity, many people have unanswered questions about when to take paracetamol.

At the top of the list of uncertainties is the possibility of taking paracetamol with ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is a daily pain reliever for a range of aches and pains including back pain, period pain, toothache.

It is available as tablets and capsules, and as a swallowable syrup. It also comes as a gel, mousse, and spray that you rub on your skin.

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The Commission for Medicinal Products for Human Use has now confirmed that there is no clear evidence that the use of ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as high temperature makes the coronavirus worse.

You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat symptoms of the coronavirus, however, try paracetamol first if you can, suggests the NHS.

“It has fewer side effects than ibuprofen and is the safer choice for most people,” he adds.

How much paracetamol should I take?

“If you need to take a pain reliever, check the labels of other medications carefully. Ask your pharmacist for advice if in doubt,” advises Bupa.

Depending on the health care organization, you should take 500 mg to 1000 mg (usually one or two tablets) every four to six hours.

“Do not take more than 4000 mg (eight tablets of 500 mg) in 24 hours,” the health site warns.

He adds, “Paracetamol is an ingredient in many flu medicines, so check the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine to find out how much you are taking.”

When should I avoid paracetamol?

It is safe to take paracetamol with most prescription drugs, including antibiotics.

However, paracetamol is not suitable for some people.

According to the NHS, you should talk to your doctor if you are taking:

  • The anticoagulant warfarin – paracetamol may increase the risk of bleeding if you take it regularly
  • Medicines to treat epilepsy
  • Medicine to treat tuberculosis (TB).

“Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John’s Wort (an herbal remedy used for depression) as you may need to lower your dose of paracetamol,” advises the NHS.

Otherwise, paracetamol is usually not affected by taking herbal remedies or supplements, the health body notes.

“For safety reasons, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements,” he adds.