Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil

Can I take Ibuprofen and Nyquil?

Although both ibuprofen and Nyquil are over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it’s not advisable to take drugs together unless your doctor or pharmacist recommends it, this is because some drugs interact badly when taken with other drugs.

Drugs interact when they both have the same effect or the same active ingredient. When drugs interact, the potency of one of the drugs might be affected.

Also, drugs with opposing effects may interact with each other, for instance, drugs like ibuprofen cause your body to retain salt and fluid, so taking them with drugs like furosemide, a diuretic that helps in getting rid of excess fluid and salt from the body, it reduces the salt retaining effect of ibuprofen or vice versa.

Now you might be thinking “Can I take ibuprofen and Nyquil then or will there be a negative drug interaction between the two?” Keep reading. You’ll not only find the answer to your question, but also a list of some other drugs that should not be taken along with Nyquil.

What Is Nyquil?

Nyquil is a nighttime combination medicine used to temporarily treat symptoms of cold and flu such as fever, cough, and headache. It also causes relief of some symptoms of allergies like runny nose and sneezing.

Nyquil contains 3 active ingredients:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Doxylamine. 

These active ingredients work together to make Nyquil an effective cold and flu medicine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer, Dextromethorphan is a decongestant and cough suppressant hence it reduces your urge to cough and relieves stuffy nose, while Doxylamine is an antihistamine, responsible for relieving symptoms of allergies.

Nyquil is one of the products produced by Vicks, an American brand that produces OTC medications in the “Quil” line. Because of certain side effects of Nyquil, such as drowsiness, and dizziness, it is recommended as a night treatment, while the sister medication, Dayquil is used as a daytime treatment.

Side Effects of Nyquil

While taking Nyquil, you may notice some of its side effects such as:

  • Dry mouth, nose, or throat
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Blurred vision

These effects usually last not more than a week, but should it be more or get worse, contact your doctor immediately. Seek urgent medical help when you notice any of these symptoms or have any serious discomfort while taking the drug.

You may experience severe side effects like:

  • Hallucination
  • Shakiness
  • Mood switch
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble urinating
  • Allergic reactions such as rash, itching, and swelling of the tongue, face, or throat.
Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil
Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil?

What Is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used also in treating symptoms of cold, flu, and allergies, although it is mostly regarded as a pain reliever, and so used in treating muscle and joint pain that is due to injury or exercise, hence, you’ll find ibuprofen in many OTC pain killers such as Motrin.

Side Effects of Ibuprofen

Some adverse effects have been associated with ibuprofen such as ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in patients with existing heart conditions or intestinal issues. These are only some mild side effects of ibuprofen, and they should only last temporarily, but when they persist or get worse, let your doctor know.

These mild effects are:

  • Constipation
  • Nervousness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

Ibuprofen can also result in some serious side effects:

  • Sudden weight gain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Painful urination
  • Back pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of eyes, feet, arms, ankles, or hands
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Discolored or bloody urine
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Gastrointestinal problems 

Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil at same time?

Just as we’ve said, drugs are much more likely to interact with each other when they have the same effect or contain the same active ingredients. In the case of ibuprofen and Nyquil, we see that Nyquil contains acetaminophen which plays the same role as ibuprofen as a pain reliever.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take ibuprofen and Nyquil together, but you must seek your doctor’s consent first because while both drugs may not react when taken together, at a certain concentration, ibuprofen might increase your risk of experiencing side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, dizziness, blurred vision, and swelling of your legs and lungs.

And although both drugs can be taken together, is there a point in doing so? Nyquil is made up of 500mg of acetaminophen which is a safe range and effective enough to relieve pains and reduce fever. So why take both when you can obtain the relief you need for the price of one? But if you must take both ibuprofen and Nyquil, don’t forget to get your doctor’s recommendation.

How Much Ibuprofen Can You Take with Nyquil?

For a normal healthy adult, the recommended daily dose of ibuprofen is 2400mg, or you could take 400mg once every 4-6 hours, meanwhile Nyquil should be taken once every 6 hours unless your doctor recommends a different dosage. Therefore, you could take 400mg of ibuprofen with your Nyquil doses and that’s how much ibuprofen you need to take with Nyquil.

How Far Apart Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil

Since ibuprofen and Nyquil belong to 2 different drug categories that are ibuprofen is an NSAID while Nyquil is a Non-Narc Antitussive-Antihistamine, you can choose to take them all at the same time, however, this might be tough for your liver and kidneys, so for the optimum benefit of using ibuprofen and Nyquil, you may choose to take them 2 hours apart.

What Medications Should I Not Mix with Nyquil?

While ibuprofen may be taken together with Nyquil, certain other drugs should not be mixed with Nyquil as they can either change how it works or increase your risk of experiencing serious side effects. Inform your doctor of any medication you’re currently using before taking Nyquil, especially if you’re taking any of the following;

  • MAO inhibitors
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Metaxalone
  • Methylene blue
  • Moclobemide
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Safinamide
  • Selegiline
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine and carisoprodol
  • Sleep or anxiety medications such as lorazepam and alprazolam
  • Other antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and cetirizine

This is not the list of all drugs that can negatively interact with Nyquil, so be sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know of any drug or even supplements or herbs you are using before you start your treatment with Nyquil.

In some cases, you may need to stop your current medication for a period of two weeks before you can start taking Nyquil, to prevent any impact the medication can have of Nyquil, such is seen in drugs like MAO inhibitors.

Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil with Mucinex? 

Mucinex, ibuprofen, and Nyquil are OTC medications with different active ingredients. While Nyquil is made up of acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine, Mucinex contains an active ingredient called Guaifenesin.

Guaifenesin is an expectorant, hence this further tells us that all three drugs belong to different categories. Mucinex is used to treat chest congestion by breaking up mucus in your airways and allowing you to breathe easily and clearly as it becomes easy to cough up the mucus.

However, there’s another Mucinix product called Mucinex DM, and it contains two active ingredients; Guaifenesin and Dextromethorphan. Just as we have seen with Nyquil, dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant.

Now the question is “can I take ibuprofen and Nyquil with Mucinex?” Clearly, we’ve seen that there are no similarities between ibuprofen and Mucinex, and Mucinex doesn’t contain any pain killers, therefore this makes it safe to take with ibuprofen. 

This also applies to Mucinex and Nyquil, therefore, although unnecessary to mix ibuprofen and Nyquil, under your doctor’s recommendation, you can also safely take ibuprofen and Nyquil with Mucinex.

However, watch out for Mucinex DM as it also contains dextromethorphan, taking it along with ibuprofen and Nyquil will increase the level of dextromethorphan in your blood, hence resulting in increased side effects like drowsiness, lightheadedness, nervousness and gastrointestinal issues. 

Can I Take Ibuprofen and Nyquil with Tylenol?

Tylenol is a pain reliever that contains acetaminophen as an active ingredient, now not only does it contain the same active ingredient as Nyquil, but it also has the same effect as ibuprofen. Taking Tylenol with Nyquil have shown to increase the levels of acetaminophen in the blood and which puts your liver in danger and could even be fatal.

The FDA has warned against using a lot of acetaminophen from various OTC medicines, especially if you have a pre-existing liver problem. Now if taking Tylenol with Nyquil can be so dangerous, imagine what taking so many painkillers would do to your health. Therefore, you shouldn’t take ibuprofen and Nyquil with Tylenol.


Although ibuprofen and Nyquil don’t share the same active ingredient, it seems unnecessary to take both drugs together since Nyquil itself contains a pain killer –acetaminophen, which has a similar effect as ibuprofen.

However, with your doctor’s consent, you can take ibuprofen and Nyquil as there is no known drug interaction between them so long as you don’t overdose.

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