What Is The Maximum Daily Dose Of Ibuprofen?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses what the maximum daily dose of ibuprofen is for both prescription and OTC use.
I just had drainage done on a tooth. I am aching still. I have taken two 800 mg ibuprofen since early this morning. I need another for the night. Can I take a 3rd one? Or is that too much for one day?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated Aug 26, 2022
- The maximum daily dose of ibuprofen varies depending on whether or not it has been prescribed by your doctor or you are taking it over-the-counter (OTC).
- The maximum daily dose of prescription ibuprofen is 3,200mg per day while the maximum daily dose with over-the-counter use is 1,200mg per day.
- The difference in the maximum daily dose is based on the safety risks of high-dose/long-term NSAID use.
Thanks for reaching out to us!
The maximum daily dose of ibuprofen varies depending on whether or not you using ibuprofen via prescription or taking the over-the-counter (OTC) product.
The maximum daily dose of prescription ibuprofen is:
- 3,200 mg
Prescription ibuprofen is available as a 400 mg tablet, 600 mg tablet and 800 mg tablet. Therefore, the maximum amount you can take in one day of the prescription tablets is as follows:
- 8 tablets of 400 mg ibuprofen
- 5 tablets of 600 mg ibuprofen
- 4 tablets of 800 mg ibuprofen
The maximum daily dose of over-the-counter ibuprofen is:
- 1,200 mg per day
Since over-the-counter ibuprofen only comes as a 200 mg tablet, the maximum daily dose is 6 tablets.
Rx Vs. OTC Ibuprofen Maximum Daily Dose
Even though prescription and OTC ibuprofen are the same active ingredient, the maximum daily dose varies, as you can see above.
This is because high doses of ibuprofen, for extended periods of time, can cause serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and increases your risk of cardiovascular events. Self-treatment (i.e. over-the-counter use) of ibuprofen is therefore limited and higher doses should only be used under the direction of your doctor or other prescribers.
In your situation, you have a prescription for ibuprofen 800 mg tablets. Therefore, you can take up to 4 per day (unless otherwise directed). The usual dosing interval is every four to six hours.
We wrote about this topic more comprehensively in another one of our Q+As, which can be found here: Are Prescription And Over-The-Counter Ibuprofen The Same?
Thanks again for reaching out and please do so again if anything else comes up!
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 4807 views
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