News ID: 235876
Published: 0605 GMT December 16, 2018

Paracetamol and ibuprofen: Can you take both together?

Paracetamol and ibuprofen: Can you take both together?

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are both used for treating pain and fever, proving particularly helpful in the case of a hangover. But can you take both together – is this more effective or is it in fact dangerous?

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are similar forms of medication. The main difference is ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory drug, meaning it treats inflammation, reported.

Both treatments are used to relieve mild or moderate pain, including headaches, toothaches, sprains and fevers caused by cold and flu. The NHS recommends paracetamol as one of the first treatments for pain, as it is a safe option for people to take and the side effects are rare. But what happens if you take the two together? Is pain relief made more effective or can it have a detrimental impact on your health?

If you are over the age of 16, medical advice indicates there is no known harmful link between taking both ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time, said Dr. Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient.

He explained: “These are both painkillers, so can be used for aches and pains and flu.”

But Thornber advises it is best to space out taking them and ideally take ibuprofen after eating a meal. Additionally do not continue taking both for longer than three days.

“Paracetamol is often recommended as one of the first treatments for pain, as it is safe for most people to take and side effects from the painkillers are rare," he said.

“Adults should not take more than 4g – eight 500mg paracetamol tablets – in the space of 24 hours.

“Children under the ages of 16, can take both tablets, but not at the same time.”

If you need to take painkillers for longer than three days, you should see your GP or pharmacist for advice. Try to avoid unnecessary medicines.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are commonly used to relieve symptoms of a hangover.

But there are other ways to cure a hangover naturally without the use of painkillers, suggests Abacus Foods.

Three ways involve hydrating with certain drinks, getting plenty of sleep and taking ginger.




This is the number one priority to cure a hangover. Drink plenty of fresh mineral water, and ideally something containing electrolytes such as coconut water or a sports drink.




Sleep is still one of the best ways for human recovery of any kind. While you sleep, your organs get a chance to rest and restore.

In case of a hangover, your liver is working hard to break down the alcohol and sleep allows its natural healing. Also, you will wake up with a clearer mind.




This can help with an upset stomach, such as vomiting and nausea.

Simply make yourself a ginger tea with a slice of fresh ginger in boiled water, or chew on some ginger sweets.

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