Ibuprofen is a medicine used to treat pain, swelling, tenderness, and fever caused by many medical issues, including the following:

  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • Back pain
  • Menstrual pain
  • Arthritis
  • Injuries
  • Muscle aches
  • The common cold
  • Other ailments or conditions

This medicine is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Ibuprofen is available in both a prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) form. It’s used in adults and children who are at least 6 months old.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved this medicine in 1974.

Everyday Health


What is Ibuprofen (Advil) used for?

Cerner Multum


What is the most important information I should know about Ibuprofen (Advil)?

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 ibuprofen, especially in older adults.

You should not use ibuprofen if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

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

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;
  • a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
  • stomach ulcers or bleeding;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • asthma; or
  • if you take aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke.

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

If you are pregnant, you should not take 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 ibuprofen to a child younger than 6 months old without the advice of a doctor.

Cerner Multum

User Reviews & Rating

Overall rating for Ibuprofen (Advil)

Side Effects
Easy to Use
Read Ibuprofen (Advil) Reviews
Cerner Multum

Side Effects

What are the side effects of Ibuprofen (Advil)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have 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.

Stop using ibuprofen and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • changes in your vision;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or
  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, gas;
  • bleeding; or
  • dizziness, headache.

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.

Cerner Multum

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Can I take Ibuprofen (Advil) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

If you are pregnant, you should not take 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.

Cerner Multum


What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Ibuprofen (Advil)?

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, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

Avoid taking aspirin unless your doctor tells you to.

If you also take aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack, taking ibuprofen can make aspirin less effective in protecting your heart and blood vessels. If you take both medicines, take ibuprofen at least 8 hours before or 30 minutes after you take aspirin (non-enteric coated form).

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

Cerner Multum

Dosage Guidelines & Tips

How to take Ibuprofen (Advil)?

Use Ibuprofen (Advil) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

An ibuprofen overdose can damage your stomach or intestines. The maximum amount of ibuprofen for adults is 800 milligrams per dose or 3200 mg per day (4 maximum doses).

A child's dose of ibuprofen is based on the age and weight of the child. Carefully follow the dosing instructions provided with children's ibuprofen for the age and weight of your child. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Take ibuprofen with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.

What should I do if I missed a dose of Ibuprofen (Advil)?

Since 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.

Cerner Multum

Overdose Signs

What happens if I overdose on Ibuprofen (Advil)?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Ibuprofen (Advil),  call your doctor or the Poison Control center
(800) 222-1222
If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Ibuprofen (Advil), call 911
Cerner Multum

What to Expect

Ibuprofen typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes to work when taken by mouth.

If you’re using ibuprofen for chronic pain relief, you may need to take it regularly for up to three weeks before you notice the benefits.

Ibuprofen is generally safe to use for several years, but taking it for a long time or in high doses can increase your risk for stomach bleeding or ulcers. If you take this medicine for years, you may also be at an increased risk for heart attack or stroke.

Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to protect your stomach if you take ibuprofen long-term.

Everyday Health

Additional Dosage Information

Your dosage will depend on your medical condition, your age, your weight, and other factors.

A typical dosage for adults who have minor aches and pains might be 200 milligrams (mg) to 400 mg of OTC ibuprofen every four to six hours.

Everyday Health

Secondary Uses

Ibuprofen may be used for many conditions that aren’t listed in this guide.

Everyday Health


Dengue Fever: What You Need To Know About The Mosquito-Borne Virus Found In Arizona


Robert Hart
Dengue, also known as breakbone fever, is spread through the bites of mosquitoes common throughout much of the United States.

Read the Full Article

New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know - Harvard Health

Harvard Health

The CDC’s 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioid medications aimed to reduce deaths from overdose. Recent revisions to these guidelines aim for refinement while emphasizing safety and ...

Read the Full Article

ExiFentanyl isn’t just causing overdoses. It’s making it harder to start addiction treatment


Lev Facher
Even as fentanyl sends overdose deaths soaring, it threatens to make the world’s most-prescribed addiction drug inaccessible to the increasing number of patients who need it.

Read the Full Article

The new pain treatments that may finally stem the need for opioids

New Scientist

Stephani Sutherland
Why talk and behaviour-based interventions that don’t use any drugs, as well as genetic therapy and bacterial toxins, are promising new weapons in our fight against pain

Read the Full Article

Help Patients Manage Low Back Pain, Risk Factors

Pharmacy Times

PharmD , CPh , Jennifer Gershman, PACS
Pharmacists can offer advice on nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic prevention and treatment strategies.

Read the Full Article

Non-Opioid Treatment Alternatives For Pain Face Clinical Development And Reimbursement Challenges


Joshua Cohen
Yesterday's revised CDC guidelines on prescribing opioids include recommendations that doctors “optimize the use of non-opioid therapies,” and “consider opioids for pain only if benefits outweigh risks.” However, non-opioid pain treatments face considerable clinical and reimbursement challenges.

Read the Full Article

FDA expresses concern about providers who offer abortion medications before pregnancy, reports say | CNN


Jen Christensen
Although health-care providers are not authorized to offer a medication abortion before a patient gets pregnant, some are doing so, a spokesperson for the US Food and Drug Administration told Politico. The FDA is concerned that the practice could be dangerous.

Read the Full Article

Existing and Novel Treatments of Migraine Show Favorable Efficacy

Pharmacy Times

Ashley Gallagher, Assistant Editor
Case studies highlight recent developments and trends in pharmacologic treatments for migraine.

Read the Full Article

Know the COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Options

Pharmacy Times

Kathleen Kenny, PharmD , RPh
Latest Information is key to helping patients stay healthy amid continuously changing landscape.

Read the Full Article

10 Best CBD Oils for Migraines

Discover Magazine

Amber Smith
10 Best CBD Oils for Migraines

Read the Full Article

Everyday Health



Color: brown

Shape: round

Imprint: Advil

1 of 2

4 I

Color: white

Shape: oval

Imprint: 4 I


Color: white

Shape: oval

Imprint: 6I

Cerner Multum

Medical Disclaimer

Drugs A-Z provides drug information from Everyday Health and our partners, as well as ratings from our members, all in one place. Cerner Multum™ provides the data within some of the Overview, Uses, Warnings, Side Effects, Pregnancy, Interactions, Dosage, Overdose, and Images sections. The information within all other sections is proprietary to Everyday Health.