In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Tylenol or Advil can be taken with amoxicillin.

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Question

I'm taking amoxicillin 875mg twice a day. Can I take Tylenol or Aleve with that? And can I use a saline nasal spray with these?


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Key points

There are no known drug interactions between Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen). If you are experiencing any symptoms involving your gastrointestinal tract, such as diarrhea, cramping, or nausea, Tylenol may be the better choice as it causes fewer gastrointestinal side effects than Advil.

Hello and thanks for reaching out to us!

It"s not uncommon for someone dealing with an infection to need some symptom relief while they wait for their antibiotic (amoxicillin in this case) to start working.

The good news is that it is safe to take either Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) with amoxicillin as there is no listed or reported interaction between the medications.

More Detail

Amoxicillin is a "beta-lactam" antibiotic and is structurally similar to penicillin.

Unlike penicillin, however, it is considered a "broad spectrum" antibiotic, meaning that it is effective against many types of bacteria (e.g. both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria).

Amoxicillin is a commonly used antibiotic for a variety of infections including sinusitis, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infections.

It is a common need to treat symptoms of pain, headache, and muscle cramps while taking antibiotics such as amoxicillin.

Fortunately, most over-the-counter analgesics are safe to take with amoxicillin, including Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen).

While there is always a chance of nausea when combining amoxicillin with an analgesic, they are considered safe to use together and should not cause any untoward effects.

However, if amoxicillin is causing any stomach-related side effects such as nausea, cramping, or diarrhea, Tylenol may be better tolerated and the preferred option over Advil since NSAIDs, like Advil, tend to cause more gastrointestinal side effects.

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You also asked about using a saline nasal spray with amoxicillin. That is certainly safe to use as well.