Using Tylenol and Advil Together in Children and Adults

May 12, 2016

For Fever Reduction In Children Ages 6mo.-12yrs.

No one looks forward to a fever, but we know they are beneficial when it comes to fighting an infection. In fact, nowadays, the American Academy of Pediatrics tells parents not to fear fevers but to recognize them as a sign that the body is working to fight an infection.

While we don’t have to fight fever for the sake of eliminating it, fever reducers are used to help lower the discomfort in children (and even adults) so that they can function better in the day time and sleep better in the evenings. Research shows that there isn’t much difference between the safety and effectiveness between acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to treat fever in healthy children between 6 months and 12 years old.

Some studies have shown that alternating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be more effective than using one over the course of a fever, but it’s very important to dose them correctly to avoid overdosing, or giving an inaccurate dose. In fact, acetaminophen is the most common single ingredient in ER visits for medication overdoses in children, with over 80% of these overdoses coming from unsupervised ingestion. Dosing must be done correctly, at the right time, according to a child’s weight, age and overall health.

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For Pain Management in Adults

While most people typically take ibuprofen and acetaminophen separately, they can effectively be used together for pain medication in adults as well. In fact, for dental pain, these two drugs have been shown to work better than many of the opioid-containing pain medications like Vicodin.

Acetaminophen is cleared by the liver while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys. Each medication works differently and they are broken down differently so there is minimal concern about combining them for pain relief.

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer but not an anti-inflammatory. Ibuprofen is all three. Taken together (correctly) could help pain management in certain ailments. It’s important to ask about dosing when combining the two for a pain relief regimen.

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As always, Texas MedClinic is here to help. We’re open seven days a week from 8a.m.-11p.m. and some of our clinics also have after hours physicians available 24 hours a day. If you have a question about this information or anything else you read on our blog, feel free to ask one of our physicians.

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