How Soon Can You Take Advil Cold & Sinus After Taking Naproxen?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how long after taking Advil Cold & Sinus it is safe to take naproxen.


Can I take Advil Cold and Sinus if it has been 12 hours since I took Naproxen? I am taking naproxen for back pain every 12 hours but I am having a bad sinus headache and want to take the med I suggested and then go back to the naproxen when my head pressure is gone.

Asked by KLC On Jun 25, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jun 29, 2022
Last updated Jul 18, 2024

Key points

  • Advil Cold & Sinus contains ibuprofen, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Naproxen is also an NSAID.
  • In general, NSAIDs should not be combined due to the increased risk of side effects.
  • Naproxen lasts 8 to 12 hours per dose. It will be safe to dose with ibuprofen after this timeframe (8-12 hours).

Hello and thanks for reaching out to us!

I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with a few issues here. I'm more than happy to provide some guidance.

First and foremost, naproxen and any product containing ibuprofen (like Advil Cold & Sinus) should not be taken at the same time.

Both drugs (naproxen and ibuprofen) are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and work the same way. Taking them at the same time will increase the side effects and likely not result in much more pain relief than taking either drug alone.

How Long To Wait

In your question to us, you ask how long after taking naproxen is it safe to take Advil Cold & Sinus.

In terms of duration of action, naproxen is a longer-acting NSAID and lasts 8 to 12 hours per dose. ibuprofen, on the other hand, lasts only 4 to 6 hours per dose.

Since naproxen lasts around 8 to 12 hours after taking a dose, you want to wait that amount of time before taking another NSAID.

So, if you took naproxen 12 hours ago, it will be safe to then take Advil Cold & Sinus.

What Are The Problems Of Combining NSAIDs?

I mentioned that combining NSAIDs (e.g. naproxen and ibuprofen) increases the risk of side effects.

The most common side effect of this type of drug is stomach pain and nausea. With long-term use, the risks increase, and there is a higher likelihood of more serious effects, like stomach ulceration and bleeding.

Long-term use of NSAIDs also can increase blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, so you certainly don't want to use more than one at a time (unless directed by your doctor).


I want to mention here that you have some options if you don't want to switch between taking naproxen and Advil Cold & Sinus.

Advil Cold & Sinus contains two medications:

You could just take pseudoephedrine as a single drug product (it is available in both an immediate-release and 12/24-hour extended-release version) and combine that with naproxen.

That way, you don't have to go back and forth between NSAIDs.

Both naproxen and ibuprofen are pretty comparable in terms of how effective they are in treating pain, and naproxen lasts longer. You could take a 12-hour pseudoephedrine product and naproxen at the same time, and only need to dose twice a day for full-day coverage.

Final Words

Thanks again for your question! I hope you start to feel better,


About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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