Can I Take Nyquil With Advil? | A Clinician’s Practical Tips
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
November 14, 2023

Can I take NyQuil with Advil?

Yes, you can take NyQuil with Advil safely. There are no interactions between both medications.

Understanding NyQuil’s Active Ingredients

Vicks NyQuil is a popular over-the-counter medication for cold and flu symptoms.

It contains a combination of three active ingredients:

  • Acetaminophen (a pain reliever and fever reducer).
  • Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant).
  • Doxylamine succinate (an antihistamine).

These ingredients work together in what is known as ingredient synergy, meaning that their combined effects are greater than if you were to take each ingredient individually.

This synergy effectively relieves various symptoms of colds and the flu, making NyQuil usage quite common during the colder months.

Some people also use NyQuil to help them sleep better at night. While some recommend using this medication for short-term insomnia, I do not, especially for older adults.

This is because doxylamine has a certain type of drug property called anticholinergic effect.

This leads to unfavorable outcomes for seniors, such as oversedation, dizziness, falls, fractures or other injuries, constipation, blurred vision, urinary retention (for men), and increased risk for dementia!

To stay within the scope of this article, I am not going to expand on these important medication concerns here, but you can read all about them in my detailed articles on polypharmacy, the 2023 Beers criteria, and Dementia.

Advil (Ibuprofen)

Advil, generic name ibuprofen, is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) non-prescription medication used to relieve inflammation, fever, and pain quickly.

Here are some key aspects of Advil’s composition:

  • Active Ingredient: Ibuprofen (200mg per OTC tablet; higher doses available via a prescription).
  • Inactive Ingredients: Colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide.
  • Dosage Form: Tablet, chewable, liquid gel capsules, or oral suspension.
  • Composition benefits: Provides temporary relief from various types of pain such as headaches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, and minor arthritis pain.

Certain medications cannot be taken together, such as combining Benadryl and NyQuil.

Since ibuprofen works differently than acetaminophen – the pain-relieving component in NyQuil – it is generally considered safe to take Advil and NyQuil together for short-term use.

More about this combination below…

Just make sure you follow the recommended dosages on each product label and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about combining these medications.

Combining acetaminophen and ibuprofen

Clinical studies confirm combining acetaminophen and ibuprofen provides superior, synergistic pain relief.

Please feel free to read all about this phenomenon in my article, Can You Take Tylenol and Ibuprofen Together? 

The video below from the “Talking With Docs” YouTube channel also supports taking Tylenol and Advil together:

Precautions to Consider Before Combining Medications

Before mixing meds, it’s wise to keep some precautions in mind to ensure a smoother road to recovery.

Pay close attention to medication dosages when taking NyQuil with Advil, as taking too much of either can result in unwanted side effects or even an overdose.

It’s crucial that you read the labels on each product carefully and follow the recommended dosage instructions.

Additionally, consider the duration between doses of each medication; staggering them might be necessary to avoid potential interactions.

Another critical factor in maintaining safety is awareness of allergy risks associated with both medications.

If you have a history of allergies or have experienced reactions to any ingredients found in NyQuil or Advil, it’s best not to combine these medications without seeking advice from a healthcare professional first.

Moreover, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking NyQuil with Advil.

Remember that staying informed about possible risks will empower you to make smart choices for yourself and those who rely on your care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take NyQuil with Advil at the same time, or should they be spaced out?

When considering NyQuil Advil interactions, it’s important to know that you can safely take them at the same time, as long as you follow the recommended dosages on each label.

Are there specific age groups or health conditions that should not take NyQuil with Advil?

It’s important to know that certain age groups, like young children and the elderly, can be at a higher risk for adverse effects when combining these medications.

Additionally, individuals with pre-existing conditions such as liver or kidney disease, heart issues, high blood pressure, or gastrointestinal problems should be cautious when using both medicines together.

I talk about this in my NSAIDs article linked above.

How long should one wait after taking one medication before taking the other?

There is no need to space Advil and NyQuil out. Because they have different mechanisms of action in the body, they won’t interact or compete with one another as they begin to work.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding individuals safely take NyQuil with Advil?

While Advil (ibuprofen) is generally considered safe for occasional use during pregnancy, it’s not recommended during the third trimester due to potential complications. Additionally, ibuprofen can pass into breast milk in small amounts but is typically safe for short-term use by nursing mothers.

On the other hand, some ingredients in NyQuil may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, especially those containing alcohol or doxylamine succinate.

It’s best to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice on safely using these medications while pregnant or breastfeeding, keeping in mind that serving others starts with taking care of yourself and your little one first.

Related Post