( ibuprofen; also called Advil
and Nuprin )
300 mg round, white tablet
400 mg round, red-orange tablet
600 mg oval, peach tablet
800 mg apricot, capsule-shaped
Motrin is a brand name for the
drug ibuprofen. Advil and Nuprin contain smaller doses of ibuprofen and are
available without a prescription, as is Motrin.
To reduce inflammation; to reduce pain.
For anti-inflammatory action and
One or two 400 mg tablets three
times daily. Maximum daily recommended dosage is 2,400 mg, or six tablets.
Gastrointestinal side effects,
with irritation of the stomach lining, are the most common, and include
nausea, indigestion, and heartburn. Allergic reactions are rare and the drug
is generally well tolerated. A related to this drug. Here, the person
experiences a headache, fever, and stiff neck, and examination of the spinal
fluid shows an increase in the protein and cells. The syndrome resolves when
the drug is stopped, but can come back again if the drug is given again.
Occasionally, individuals may retain fluid with this medication.
Hospitalization for gastrointestinal bleeding is seen in about 1% of those
who take full doses of 2,400 mg or more per day for one year.
Motrin is not consistently useful
for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, many doctors are
beginning to feel that it is one of the weaker therapeutic agents in this
group. If you are not getting enough relief from it, you may wish to discuss
a change in medication with your doctor. Avoidance of aspirin and other
medications while taking Motrin is advisable but not essential. It is
absorbed reasonably well even on a full stomach, so if you have problems
with irritation of the stomach take the drug after an antacid or after a
meal. Maximum effect is achieved after about six weeks of treatment, but you
should be able to see a major effect in the first week if it is going to be
a really good drug for you.
The US Food and Drug Administration allows the sale of ibuprofen without a
prescription in a smaller, 200 mg tablet size. The decision was made after
careful review of many studies indicating that ibuprofen was at least as
effective as two previously available drugs, aspirin and acetaminophen, for
relieving minor pain and possibly less toxic than aspirin. Advil, Nuprin,
and Motrin are trade names for over-the-counter ibuprofen, and they are
already heavily advertised and heavily used. Ibuprofen is now also present
in many different over-the-counter medications, including Midol.
What does this mean for the patient with arthritis ? Relatively little. Many
arthritis patients need at least 2,400 mg of ibuprofen per day, and taking
twelve Advil tablets a day rather than four to six Motrin is a bit of a
nuisance. And it is hard to save money, since the cost per milligram is set
so that it is about the same by prescription or over-the-counter. If you
need anti-inflammatory doses of ibuprofen, you should be seeing your doctor
every so often anyway, so do not use the availability of the product over
the counter as an excuse to stay away from the doctor. Also, many health
insurance plans will not pay for medication unless it is purchased by
prescription. So, our recommendation remains that ibuprofen for arthritis be
used on a prescription basis unless just an occasional tablet is required