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Advil Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, and Safety

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Advil is a brand name for ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs are used to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. Advil is available over-the-counter (OTC) in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, and liquid gels.

How does Advil work?

Advil works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain, inflammation, and fever. Prostaglandins are produced by the body in response to injury or illness. By blocking the production of prostaglandins, Advil can help to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever.

What are the uses of Advil?

Advil is used to relieve a variety of pain conditions, including:

  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • Backache
  • Muscle pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Arthritis pain
  • Fever

Advil can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by the common cold or flu.

Dosage and Side Effects of Advil

The dosage of Advil depends on the age of the patient and the condition being treated. The usual adult dosage is 400 to 800 milligrams (mg) every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed 3200 mg in a day. Children under the age of 12 should not take Advil without the advice of a doctor.

The most common side effects of Advil are:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Rash

Serious side effects of Advil are rare but can occur. These include:

  • Stomach bleeding
  • Ulcers
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

If you experience any serious side effects, stop taking Advil and see a doctor immediately.

How to Take Advil Safely

To take Advil safely, it is important to follow the directions on the label. You should also talk to your doctor before taking Advil if you have any health conditions, such as stomach ulcers, liver disease, or kidney disease.

Here are some other tips for taking Advil safely:

  • Do not take more than the recommended dosage.
  • Do not take Advil for more than 10 days without talking to your doctor.
  • Take Advil with food or milk to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • If you have stomach problems, you may want to take a different type of pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Alternatives to Advil

There are other over-the-counter pain relievers that you can use instead of Advil. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and naproxen (Aleve). Prescription pain relievers, such as opioids, may also be used to treat more severe pain.


Advil is a safe and effective pain reliever for most people. However, it is important to take it as directed and to be aware of the potential side effects. If you have any questions or concerns about taking Advil, talk to your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between Advil and ibuprofen?

Advil is a brand name for ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen is also available as a generic drug. The only difference between Advil and ibuprofen is the brand name.

2. Can I take Advil if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is best to talk to your doctor before taking Advil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Advil can pass through the placenta and into the bloodstream of a developing baby. It is also possible for Advil to pass into breast milk.

3. Can I take Advil with other medications?

Before taking Advil with other medications, it is important to talk to your doctor. Advil can interact with some medications, such as:

  • Blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Heart medications, such as digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • Steroids, such as prednisone
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Certain antibiotics

If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor before taking Advil.

4. What are the long-term effects of taking Advil?

The long-term effects of taking Advil are not fully known. However, some studies have shown that long-term use of Advil may increase the risk of some health problems, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Bleeding

If you are taking Advil long-term, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

5. What is the best way to store Advil?

Advil should be stored in a cool, dry place. Do not store Advil in the bathroom, as the heat and humidity can cause the medication to degrade.

6. How long does Advil last?

The shelf life of Advil is typically 3 years. However, it is best to check the expiration date on the bottle before taking Advil.

7. What is the generic name for Advil?

The generic name for Advil is ibuprofen.

8. What is the difference between Advil and Motrin?

Advil and Motrin are both brand names for ibuprofen. The only difference between the two is the manufacturer. Advil is manufactured by Pfizer, while Motrin is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

9. What is the strongest over-the-counter pain reliever?

The strongest over-the-counter pain reliever is ibuprofen. However, it is important to note that even the strongest over-the-counter pain relievers may not be effective for everyone. If you are experiencing severe pain, you should talk to your doctor.

10. What are some natural alternatives to Advil?

There are a number of natural alternatives to Advil that can be used to relieve pain. These include:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile
  • Willow bark
  • Peppermint
  • Epsom salt baths

If you are considering using a natural alternative to Advil, talk to your doctor first.

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