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.

Jul 07, 2018

Jacks asked

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 to much for one day?

Answer

The maximum daily dose of ibuprofen varies depending on whether or not your 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 if 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 prescriber.

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.

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