Ask the Expert
Pain Control After Surgery: Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen?
Question: My husband just had surgery and is coming off of his prescription pain relievers. What should be used to treat pain, ibuprofen or acetaminophen?
Answer from: Dr. Susan Maddux, Pharm.D., pharmacy expert
You can take both ibuprofen and acetaminophen for minor pain relief. Be sure to check the labels for contraindications, or situations where you should not use the drug because it may be harmful.
Ask the Expert
Meet Dr. Susan Maddux, Pharmacy Expert
Answers to viewer questions about medications and pharmaceuticals
Dr. Susan Maddux, chief pharmacy officer for UnitedHealthcare, has been practicing pharmacy for the past 30 years. As a clinical pharmacist with a doctor of pharmacy degree and a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist, she works closely with physicians and medical directors.
UHC TV for Health and Happiness Ask the Expert Dr. Susan Maddux, Pharmacy Expert (Dr. Susan Maddux seated at desk) (Dr. Susan Maddux) This viewer asks after surgery and after stopping prescription pain relievers, what should be used to treat pain, ibuprofen or acetaminophen? Both medications can be used to treat minor aches and pains and it's important to check the labels of both ibuprofen as well as acetaminophen to look for any contraindications. For example, if you have certain medical conditions such as ulcers, it may not be advisable to take ibuprofen so it's critical that you do read the labels looking for contraindications for both products. The viewer also wants to know if products, if both products can be taken together. Some patients do alternate the products so for one dose they may take ibuprofen and the next time they may take acetaminophen and that is an acceptable use of both of these medications. UnitedHealthcare