Motrin and Tylenol


When you have a fever or pain, it is normal to use over-the-counter medication like Motrin and Tylenol to treat your condition. If you happen to have both on hand, you may be curious if you can alternate between these two drugs or if it is possible to take both of them at once. Depending on your situation, you may be able to switch from one to another as long as you take some precautions. To learn more about Tylenol and Motrin, read on.

When Is It Possible to Switch Between Tylenol and Motrin?

After having a fever or pain for a while, you may have run out of Tylenol (acetaminophen). If this happens, there is generally no harm in switching to ibuprofen-based drugs like Motrin. These medicines both perform the same task of alleviating pain or a higher fever, so they should be basically interchangeable as far as your relief goes. These drugs have slightly different mechanisms of action in your body, so it is important that you follow any directions given to you by your doctor and always take the prescribed dosage.

If your child has a high fever and you gave them Tylenol several hours ago, you may be able to give your child Motrin if there fever is still not coming down. This can be extremely convenient for parents since you would normally have to wait six to eight hours to give them another dose of Tylenol if their fever has not changed. Depending on your child’s condition, they may not need any more medicine for ten hours or more.

Although switching from one medication to another will generally be fine, you should not make it a habit to do so. If you regularly change from one medication to another, it can end up placing undue stress on your kidneys. Once you find which medicine works the best for you, you should stick to it and follow the recommended dose. You should always follow the directions on the back of the painkiller bottle because this is the most effective safe dose for you to take. If you take too much, it can harm your body. A too small dosage may not be effective and could prevent your symptoms from being fully relieved.

Switching Between Motrin to Tylenol When You Have a Fever or Pain

Both Motrin and Tylenol are generally recommended to treat pain or a fever. If you alternate between these two drugs, they may be able to provide you with more relief than just taking one at a time. To do this, you should begin by taking two, 200 milligram tablets of Motrin (also known as ibuprofen). If you do not have any relief from your pain or fever within two to three hours, then you can take two, 325 milligram tables of Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen). In another two to three hours, you can take two more, 200 milligram tablets of Motrin if you still do not have relief from your fever or pain. Using this system of alternating every two to three hours, you can work up to the maximum dose that is recommended on your medication bottle.

Although it is possible to switch medications for a greater effect, you should be extremely careful about doing this. You should never have more than four doses of Tylenol in a single 24 hour period. Likewise, you should not take Motrin more than four times in a 24 hour time period. Throughout the entire time, you should take your temperature every two to three hours to see if the medication is having an effect.

Switching Between Motrin and Tylenol With Infants

It is possible to use Tylenol and Motrin to help control a fever in infants. Often, infants will develop a fever in response to colds, infections and teething. You should be especially careful when doing this and should always consult with your doctor if you are not sure about anything. Initially, you should give your infant the recommended dose of Motrin (for infants) and then wait three hours. If their temperature has not dropped, you can give them a Tylenol product that is made exclusively for infants and give them the dosage that is recommended. After waiting another three hours, you should take their temperature to see if it has dropped. If it has not, you can alternate between Tylenol and Motrin every three hours until you have reached the maximum number of doses per day or their fever has dropped.

An Overview of Tylenol

Tylenol is designed to reduce fevers and pain. It is normally given in a 325 milligram dosage. At this dosage level, two tablets are taken every four to six hours, and a maximum of 10 tablets are taken in a day. With the 500 milligram, extra-strength Tylenol, you can take two tablets every six hours and no more than six tablets in a day. Since Tylenol is easy on the stomach, it is often used when someone has symptoms like stomach pain, nausea or vomiting. It may be given to control pain after a surgery and can be used on an empty stomach. Since Tylenol may interact with other drugs, you will want to read the labels of your other medications and the Tylenol bottle to make sure that you will not have a problem.

Motrin is an NSAID, so it can be used to limit inflammation, in addition to reducing a fever or pain. Motrin is available in a 200 milligram tablet. Two of these tablets can be taken every four to six hours. With prescription ibuprofen, you may get a 600 milligram table to take three times a day or an 800 milligram tablet. To prevent an upset stomach, you should always take ibuprofen (Motrin) with food. Individuals who have kidney problems should not take any type of ibuprofen, and no one should exceed 2,400 milligrams in a day. Like always, you should make sure to follow the instructions that come with Motrin exactly to make sure that it works safely and efficiently.


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