Can I take 2 800 mg ibuprofen at once?

Taking more than the recommended dose of ibuprofen can be dangerous and should be avoided. The maximum recommended adult dose of ibuprofen is 800 mg taken every 6-8 hours. Exceeding this dose increases the risk of serious side effects.

Quick Answer

No, it is not recommended to take 1600 mg (two 800 mg tablets) of ibuprofen at once. The maximum adult dose is 800 mg every 6-8 hours, up to 3200 mg per day. Exceeding this increases the risks of side effects.

What is the recommended dosage of ibuprofen?

The recommended dosage of ibuprofen depends on the formulation (regular vs extended release) and the reason it is being used:

  • For pain/inflammation: 200-400 mg every 4-6 hours as needed, up to 1200 mg/day
  • For fever: 200 mg every 4-6 hours as needed
  • For osteoarthritis: 300-800 mg 3-4 times per day, up to 3200 mg/day
  • For rheumatoid arthritis: 400-800 mg 3-4 times per day, up to 3200 mg/day

Extended release tablets may be dosed less frequently. Always follow dosage directions on the label or from your doctor.

What happens if I take too much ibuprofen?

Taking more than the recommended amount of ibuprofen can increase the risk of the following serious side effects:

  • Stomach ulcers and bleeding: Ibuprofen may cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Higher doses make this more likely.
  • Kidney problems: Large doses can reduce kidney function over time, possibly leading to kidney failure.
  • Heart attack and stroke: Ibuprofen may increase blood pressure and make these events more likely at high doses.
  • Asthma attack: People with asthma are at higher risk of an attack if they take too much ibuprofen.
  • Liver damage: Excessive doses can cause liver injury and failure.
  • Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears may occur with high doses.
  • Drug interactions: The risk of bleeding is higher if ibuprofen is combined with blood thinners or NSAIDs.

Signs of ibuprofen overdose include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, changes in vision, and difficulty breathing. Seek emergency medical attention if these occur.

Is it safe to take 1600 mg of ibuprofen at once?

No, taking 1600 mg (two 800 mg tablets) of ibuprofen at one time is not recommended. This exceeds the maximum recommended adult dose.

Some key points about the safety of 1600 mg of ibuprofen:

  • May increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal side effects like stomach bleeding or ulcers.
  • Can cause kidney problems, even with one-time use.
  • Increases blood pressure and heart attack/stroke risk.
  • Unlikely to provide added pain/inflammation relief compared to standard doses.
  • Overdose symptoms like nausea, ringing in ears may occur.

The risks generally outweigh any potential benefits. Standard OTC doses (200-800 mg every 6-8 hours as needed) are considered safer and just as effective for pain relief.

What are the side effects of 1600 mg of ibuprofen?

Possible side effects of taking 1600 mg of ibuprofen at once may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain: Common due to irritation of the digestive tract.
  • Dizziness, headaches, tinnitus:May be signs of toxicity and overdose.
  • Changes in vision: Blurred vision can occur.
  • Difficulty breathing: Constriction of airways is possible in some.
  • Bleeding in stomach/intestines: Increased risk, especially if taken long term.
  • Kidney problems: Acute damage or worsening chronic kidney disease.
  • Increased blood pressure: May persist even after ibuprofen is stopped.
  • Rash/itching: Allergic reactions have been reported.

The higher the dose, the more likely these side effects become. Always use the lowest effective ibuprofen dose for the shortest time period needed.

Can I take ibuprofen 800 mg twice a day?

It is generally recommended to limit ibuprofen to 800 mg every 6-8 hours as needed, up to 3200 mg per day. So taking 800 mg twice a day, at least 8 hours apart, is considered safe by most guidelines.

Reasons it may be appropriate to take 800 mg ibuprofen twice daily include:

  • Managing persistent inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
  • Controlling moderate to severe postoperative pain.
  • Alleviating painful menstrual cramps.
  • Relieving acute migraine headaches.

The dose and frequency should be tailored to the individual and their specific medical needs. It’s best to take the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration. Chronic use of high dose ibuprofen may increase adverse effects.

When should I avoid 800 mg ibuprofen twice a day?

There are some situations where taking 800 mg ibuprofen twice daily may not be appropriate or safe:

  • If you have stomach ulcers, bleeding disorders, or kidney disease.
  • If you take blood thinners, steroids, or other NSAIDs.
  • If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • If you need treatment for more than a week without consulting a doctor.
  • If you consume more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding (discuss with your doctor).
  • If taking it for headaches more than 2-3 days per week.

In these situations, a lower ibuprofen dose, alternate pain reliever, or additional treatment considerations may be recommended. Discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

What are the long-term effects of 1600 mg of ibuprofen per day?

Taking 1600 mg of ibuprofen once or twice daily over an extended period can increase the risks of the following:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding: Stomach/intestinal ulcers, bleeding, and perforation.
  • Kidney impairment: May worsen chronic kidney disease or lead to acute kidney injury.
  • Cardiovascular effects: Increased blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Asthma flare-ups: Worsening of asthma control and increased attacks.
  • Headaches from medication overuse: Can make migraines worse with frequent high dosing.
  • Liver toxicity: Can cause abnormal liver tests and rarely liver failure.

Even OTC doses used long term are associated with risks. Using the lowest effective ibuprofen dose, taking needed gastroprotective medications, staying well hydrated, and monitoring with your doctor can help minimize adverse events.

What should I do if I accidentally took 1600 mg of ibuprofen?

If you accidentally take 1600 mg of ibuprofen at once, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Drink a full glass of water to dilute the medication.
  2. Call your pharmacist or the poison control hotline for advice.
  3. Monitor yourself closely for signs of stomach bleeding like dark stools.
  4. Seek prompt medical help if you develop severe nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or difficulty breathing.
  5. Avoid any additional ibuprofen or NSAID medications while symptoms persist.
  6. Ask your doctor if you need stomach acid reducers or other protective therapies if problems develop.

Most single time excessive doses can be managed with observation at home. But call 911 or go to the ER if breathing problems, chest pain, fainting, or other worrying symptoms occur after overdose.

Are there alternatives that are safer than 1600 mg of ibuprofen?

For many conditions, there are safer alternatives than taking 1600 mg doses of ibuprofen:

Condition Safer alternatives to 1600 mg ibuprofen
Headache Lower dose ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, caffeine, migraine medications
Arthritis pain Lower dose ibuprofen, topical NSAIDs, acetaminophen, heat/cold therapy, exercise, weight loss, alternative medicines
Muscle/joint injuries Lower dose ibuprofen, acetaminophen, topical analgesics, physical therapy, bracing
Menstrual cramps Lower dose ibuprofen, heating pads, rest, birth control pills, other NSAIDs
Fever/flu Lower dose ibuprofen, acetaminophen, fluids, rest, cold therapy

Consult a healthcare professional to explore alternative pain/inflammation management options if ibuprofen doses over 800 mg every 6-8 hours are being considered.

Key Points

  • It is not recommended to exceed 800 mg of ibuprofen at a time, or 3200 mg per day.
  • Taking 1600 mg at once increases the risk of serious side effects like stomach bleeding, kidney injury, and heart attacks.
  • Use the lowest effective ibuprofen dose for the shortest time period needed.
  • Consider safer alternatives, and consult a doctor if higher doses are being taken regularly.
  • Seek medical help if you accidentally overdose on ibuprofen and develop concerning symptoms.


In summary, it is not advised to take 1600 mg (two 800 mg tablets) of ibuprofen at the same time. This exceeds the maximum recommended dose and may substantially increase the risk of adverse effects on the stomach, kidneys, heart, and other organs. For most people, occasional use of 200-800 mg doses is appropriate for treating minor aches and pains. But chronic use of high dose ibuprofen or use in higher risk individuals needs medical monitoring and consideration of safer alternatives. Speak to your doctor if you find you need to use ibuprofen frequently or at doses greater than 800 mg every 6-8 hours to manage your symptoms.

Leave a Comment