Please Do Not Lie to Us

So numerous physician websites say that there is no difference between over the counter ibuprofen and prescription ibuprofen, except that prescription ibuprofen comes in bigger doses per pill.

Then they say that the adult human, absolute maximum dosage for 24 hours of OTC ibuprofen is 1200 mg (or sometimes 1800 mg), whereas the absolute maximum dosage for 24 hours for prescription ibuprofen is 3200 mg. (And the absolute maximum per dose at a time, every four hours, is 800 mg.)

Now, I’m all on board with telling people, “Look, if you need 3200 mg to handle pain or inflammation, you need to get to a doctor and get a prescription.” And I’m fine with them warning that pregnant women may not be able to take as much ibuprofen, because of the baby and because of metabolism. Please include all the caveats. Yes, ibuprofen overdoses do happen when people aren’t careful. Yes, people have to watch out for their livers and kidneys, avoid certain things, and so on.

But if there’s no difference in the pills except dosage, then the maximum dosage for OTC ibuprofen is also going to be 3200 mg. Obviously.

1 Comment

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One response to “Please Do Not Lie to Us

  1. Or something like “the highest safe dosage without medical supervision is–“

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