Ibuprofen is a widely available medication used to treat conditions that cause pain, inflammation, stiffness, and fever. It can be obtained both with a prescription and without, and is sold by itself and in combination with other medications (for example, to treat cold, flu, or sinus symptoms). Brand names include Motrin®, Advil®, Genpril®, and Nuprin®; however, you can also buy generic ibuprofen.
There are many different strengths of ibuprofen, ranging from 200 mg to 800 mg. The exact amount you should take will depend on things like the condition being treated, your age, and the specific ibuprofen product. For example, people over the age of 12 who are taking the drug over-the-counter (OTC) to treat pain is 200 mg, every four to six hours as needed.
Regardless of the ibuprofen strength you are using, it is important not to take more than 1200 mg of the nonprescription form and no more than 3200 mg of the prescription form per day. This will help minimize the risk of potentially serious side effects. Also, rather than take the highest strength, take the lowest effective amount for the shortest time.
(Click Ibuprofen Dosage to learn more about the different strengths of ibuprofen, including details on the dosages used for specific conditions.)