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What is Advil Migraine (ibuprofen)?

Advil Migraine is an over-the-counter medicine for migraine headaches.

Ibuprofen is the drug’s generic name, while Advil Migraine is the brand name.

Advil Migraine belongs to a class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs.

Ibuprofen works by reducing the hormones responsible for causing pain and inflammation. Specifically, it reduces the number of prostaglandins in the body. It does this by blocking the COX enzyme, an essential protein responsible for the production of prostaglandins.

What is Advil Migraine used to treat?

You can take Advil Migraine to alleviate pain caused by migraines and headaches. The drug also helps ease other related symptoms, like light sensitivity and nausea.

Advil and Advil Migraine contain the same substances. However, Advil Migraine is easily absorbed into the body, as it’s available in liquid-filled capsules. This allows your body to absorb the medicine quickly.

How do you take Advil Migraine?

Advil Migraine is available as a 200mg liquid-filled capsule.

You must follow the usage instructions on the packet and the advice of your doctor or pharmacist to ensure you’re taking Advil Migraine safely.

This medication is usually prescribed as needed — for example, at the first signs of an impending migraine.

Typically, your doctor would advise you to take the lowest dosage possible, increasing it depending on your condition or symptoms.

Typical adult dosage¹

  • Take the smallest effective dose.

  • Take two capsules with a full glass of water. Don’t take the drug on an empty stomach. Don’t lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medication.

  • Never take more than two capsules within 24 hours unless your doctor prescribes this dosage.

  • Talk to your doctor if your symptoms persist.

Don’t take this drug for longer than ten days when you are taking it to relieve pain. Talk to your doctor if you don’t believe the drug is working for you.

Seeing results

Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Advil Migraine, starts working within 20 to 30 minutes². It’s unclear how long Advil Migraine takes to work, but results will likely differ from person to person.

Potential side effects of Advil Migraine

Common side effects you may experience when taking Advil Migraine include:

  • Skin rash

  • Stomach upset

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Heartburn

  • Changes to liver blood tests (at high doses)

Advil Migraine can cause some rare or severe side effects, including:

  • Heart attack (symptoms may include shortness of breath and pain in the chest)

  • Heart failure (symptoms may include dizziness, tiredness, and shortness of breath)

  • Stroke (symptoms may include numbness or paralysis of the arm, leg, or face, and difficulty speaking, understanding, or walking)

  • Worsening headaches

  • Stomach bleeding (symptoms may include blood in your stools or coughing or vomiting blood)

To lower your risk of stomach bleeding while taking Advil Migraine, follow usage instructions carefully, limit or avoid alcohol, be cautious using this medication with blood thinners, and avoid other drugs containing NSAIDs, like aspirin or naproxen.

Seek medical attention if you develop any of the serious side effects listed above.

Long-term use of Advil Migraine

Take Advil Migraine only when needed.

Prolonged use of ibuprofen is linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke³.

Consult your doctor if you find you are having regular migraines and taking Advil Migraine often.

Missed doses

Advil Migraine should only be taken when needed, so it would not typically be possible to miss a dose.

However, if your doctor has prescribed Advil Migraine to treat an ongoing condition, don’t take two doses at once if you miss one. Skip it and resume your normal dosing schedule.


Advil Migraine has a low toxicity profile, so overdoses are rare. However, if you take too much Advil Migraine, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Extreme drowsiness

  • Trouble breathing

  • Stomach pain, bleeding, and ulcers

  • Stomach or intestinal perforation, which can be fatal

  • Liver or kidney failure

Overusing Advil Migraine can cause rebound headaches⁴, so you must follow the usage instructions carefully.

If you or someone else takes an overdose of Advil Migraine, seek emergency medical assistance right away.

What to discuss with your doctor before taking Advil Migraine

Here are the things you need to discuss with your doctor before taking Advil Migraine:

  • Discuss your pre-existing health conditions.

  • Tell your doctor about any other medical conditions, like heart disease, liver problems, kidney problems, and ulcers.

  • Disclose any medications and supplements you are currently taking — prescription or non-prescription.

  • In particular, tell your doctor if you take other NSAIDs or pain relievers.

  • Talk to your doctor if you have an allergy to any medicine, particularly ibuprofen. Tell them if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction in the past.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Also, tell them if you are breastfeeding.

  • Tell your doctor if you will undergo health or dental surgery while taking Advil Migraine.

Stopping Advil Migraine

Overusing Advil Migraine may cause rebound headaches when you stop taking the medication.

Rebound headaches are likely when you don’t follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions when taking this medication. It could become a cycle, increasing the frequency and severity of the headache and increasing your dependence on the drug.

When this happens, you must seek medical guidance to prevent rebound headaches and withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms of Advil Migraine include:

Advil Migraine and pregnancy

In general, you should avoid taking Advil Migraine while pregnant.

It is classed as a pregnancy category C drug. This means animal studies have demonstrated adverse effects on the fetus. Studies about the effects of ibuprofen in the first few months of pregnancy are inconclusive. After 20 weeks, the FDA reports regular use of ibuprofen may damage the fetus’s kidneys, leading to low amniotic fluid⁵.

Consult your doctor if you think you need to use Advil Migraine and you are pregnant or planning to fall pregnant. You should also tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding and wish to use Advil Migraine.

Interactions with other drugs

Don’t take Advil Migraine if you are also taking the following medications:

  • Other medications containing ibuprofen (Midol, Motrin, Cedaprin, and others)

  • Naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, and others)

  • Aspirin

  • Diclofenac (Cambia, Zipsor, or Zorvolex)

  • Lithium (Lithobid)

  • Blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin or Jantoven)

  • Antiplatelet drugs, like clopidogrel (Plavix)

  • Diuretics or water pills

  • Heart and blood pressure drugs

  • Steroids, like prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos, and others)

Allergy information

In rare cases, Advil Migraine can cause severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis and angioedema.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Lightheadedness

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion

  • Loss of consciousness

Symptoms of angioedema may include swelling and/or pain in the face (eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat).

Clinical trial history⁶

A review of 12 randomized, placebo‐controlled studies was carried out to determine the effectiveness of Advil Migraine’s generic drug name, ibuprofen. It was assessed for treating acute episodic tension-type headaches in adults.

1,992 adults were included in the review:

  • 733 took a placebo

  • 127 took 200mg of ibuprofen

  • 892 took 400mg of ibuprofen

  • 230 took a 400mg dose of fast‐acting ibuprofen

Participants reported moderate or severe pain at the start of their treatment.

23% of participants who took 400mg of ibuprofen were pain-free in two hours. 16% of participants were pain-free after taking the placebo.

No serious adverse events were reported. Ibuprofen 400mg was found to cause the same number of adverse events as the placebo.

Tips and advice for taking Advil Migraine

Tips and advice for taking Advil Migraine safely and effectively:

  • Take Advil Migraine with a full glass of water.

  • Never use Advil Migraine after heart bypass surgery, an asthma attack, or an allergic reaction caused by taking NSAIDs.

  • Don’t give Advil Migraine to children without a doctor’s advice.

  • Use Advil Migraine with caution if you are elderly, especially if you have liver or kidney problems.

  • If the medicine makes you dizzy or tired, avoid activities that require alertness, such as sports and driving.

  • Be mindful of alcohol intake when you take this drug, as it may heighten the risk of side effects like stomach bleeding.

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Here at HealthMatch, we’ve done our best to ensure that the information provided in this article is helpful, up to date, and, most importantly, accurate.

However, we can’t replace the one-to-one advice of a qualified medical practitioner or outline all of the possible risks associated with this particular drug and your circumstances.

It is therefore important for you to note that the information contained in this article does not constitute professional medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or recommendation of treatment and is not intended to, nor should be used to, replace professional medical advice. This article may not always be up to date and is not exhaustive of all of the risks and considerations relevant to this particular drug. In no circumstances should this article be relied upon without independent consideration and confirmation by a qualified medical practitioner.

Your doctor will be able to explain all possible uses, dosages, precautions, interactions with other drugs, and other potential adverse effects, and you should always talk to them about any kind of medication you are taking, thinking about taking or wanting to stop taking.

Curious about clinical trials?

Access the latest treatments and medications. unavailable elsewhere - entirely free of charge. We make it easy to take part.