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Using Paracetamol with Other Medicines

Can I Use Paracetamol With Other Medicines or Drugs?

Unsure about whether you can use paracetamol with other medicines? Learn more about using paracetamol and other common medications at the same time with our simple guide.

Is It Suitable for Use Paracetamol and ibuprofen Together?

Paracetamol is an over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medicine and ibuprofen is a dispensed medicine. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are pain relief medicines, but they act in different ways and contain different ingredients.

The active ingredient - paracetamol, is a simple pain reliever. It is best used for treating mild to moderate aches and pains – such as headache, cold and flu symptoms, or toothache or muscle pain – as well as for helping to reduce fever.

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The active ingredient - ibuprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This means that ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs like it, can help to reduce inflammation as well as ease pain, can be used for treating conditions that may cause some swelling or inflammation – such as injuries, arthritis or period pain.

So, can you use ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time?

Put simply: yes. If you are over the age of 16, it is generally considered suitable for use to take medicines containing ibuprofen and paracetamol simultaneously, since there’s no evidence that the two drugs have any harmful effects when they interact in the body. In fact, research suggests that using paracetamol and an ibuprofen-containing drug together may even provide more effective relief for some types of pain than only using one of the two medicines.

However, it’s important to note that using paracetamol and ibuprofen together is not recommended for children, unless advised by a healthcare professional.

Always speak to your doctor or pharmacist about whether or not you should use a combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen (or any other medicine) to treat your pain.

They are best equipped to advise you on the potential risks or side effects of using paracetamol with another medicine.

Always read the dosage instructions on the product label before using paracetamol or any other medication.

Get relief from everyday pain with paracetamol

Discover the full range of paracetamol everyday pain relief products today and find out which one is right for you.

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Types of Pain Relief Medicines – At a Glance

Paracetamol & Aspirin NSAIDs Codeine
Over-the-counter (OTC). Relieve pain and reduce fever Dispensed medicine. Relieve pain, reduce fever and ease inflammation Prescription. Relieves more severe, long-standing pain

Can I Combine Paracetamol with Other NSAIDs?


In many cases, paracetamol can be used together with other anti-inflammatory pain relief medications (including ibuprofen) when both medications are only used at the recommended dose (as per the instructions on the product label, unless otherwise specified by your doctor or pharmacist).

For example, in most cases, paracetamol may be used in combination with the following NSAIDs:

  • Diclofenac sodium topical gel for joint and muscle pain relief.  Diclofenac sodium is an NSAID that is sometimes recommended for use alongside paracetamol-based medicines.
  • Mefenamic acid for period pain relief. Mefenamic acid is not known to have a harmful interaction with paracetamol when used together. However, you should speak to your doctor before combining paracetamol with mefenamic acid-based medicines.
  • Naproxen for period pain relief. Naproxen is sometimes recommended for use in combination with paracetamol (for short periods of time only.)

While these medicines are generally considered suitable for use to combine with paracetamol to help provide more effective pain relief, you should always consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information before using any of the above at the same time as paracetamol.


Can I Use Paracetamol with other Common Pain Relievers?

Paracetamol-based medicine may also be recommended by your GP or pharmacist to be used in combination with the following common pain relievers:

  • Aspirin: an over-the-counter pain relief medicine used to ease pain caused by headache, toothache, period pain, or cold and flu symptoms. Aspirin can also be used to help reduce fever, but is generally only recommended for use in people over the age of 16.
  • Codeine: a prescription pain reliever usually used to treat more severe or persistent pain when other everyday pain relief medications (such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin) have not been effective.

Always consult a doctor or pharmacist before using the above medications. When using, always follow the dosage instructions on the product label.

Can I Use Paracetamol with other Paracetamol-based Medicines?

No, it is not recommended that you take paracetamol with any other medicines that contain paracetamol.

Paracetamol and Alcohol

You should always consult your doctor if you regularly drink alcohol. Cases of hepatic dysfunction and failure have been reported in patients that are chronic heavy users of alcohol.

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