Advil Migraine

Advil Migraine : an introduction

Advil Migraine is a liquid-filled capsule, available over-the-counter, specifically for relief of migraine headache symptoms. Its active ingredient is ibuprofen and Advil Migraine falls in the NSAID class of medications.

Advil Migraine contains solubilized ibuprofen, which means the ibuprofen is dissolved in a liquid center, which is inside a soft capsule. This method is designed to disperse the medication in the body faster than traditional pills.

Drugs containing ibuprofen are more commonly recommended for children under age 12 because they can’t use Aspirin, which carries a risk of a rare fat build-up in the brain and other body parts in young people.

Migraine sufferers often turn to medications containing ibuprofen, when they are seeking relief without a prescription. A 1998 survey of migraine patients found that ibuprofen is the second most-commonly used over-the-counter pain reliever used – with 35 percent of patients using it.

Advil and Migraines

Just like other drugs in the NSAID class, Advil Migraine is best used for short-term pain relief. It is not recommended for frequent or long-term use because of the potentially dangerous stomach-related side effects. Some people who use this medication may complain of Advil Migraine rebound headache. It occurs when someone uses a headache or migraine pain reliever often or for long periods of time. It is also called a medication overuse headache. This type of migraine headache occurs as a withdrawal reaction when the medication is stopped after overuse.

How Advil Migraine works

The active ingredient in Advil Migraine, ibuprofen prevents the body from producing certain substances that lead to pain, swelling and fever. Advil Migraine comes in a capsule containing a liquid form of the medicine for speedy release into the body.

Side effects of Advil Migraine

Serious side effects of Advil Migraine

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, please seek immediate medical attention. You should also stop taking Advil Migraine until you have consulted with your physician.

  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • Asthma or wheezing
  • Shock
  • Skin reddening
  • Rash
  • Blisters

All NSAIDs carry similar information on their package inserts that urge patients not to take them regularly for more than a couple of days without discussing their use and the risks with a doctor. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may cause stomach ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach or intestine. This side effect may occur early on in use or after long periods of use and in some cases may cause death.

Who should not take Advil Migraine/Ibuprofen

Talk to your doctor before using Advil Migraine if:

  • You have a change in the amount of urine
  • You experience mood or mental changes
  • You have a persistent sore throat
  • You haven’t had a migraine diagnosis from a doctor
  • Your headache is different than usual
  • You have fever and your neck is stiff
  • Your headaches occur every day
  • Your headache requires bed rest
  • If you are at risk for stomach bleeding
  • You have problems or serious side effects from taking pain relievers or fever reducers
  • You have a history of stomach problems, such as heartburn
  • You have high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, liver cirrhosis, kidney disease, or asthma
  • You are taking a diuretic
  • You experience the worst headache of your life
  • Your headaches started after a head injury, exertion (physical activity), coughing or bending over
  • You are older than age 50 and the headaches just began

Taking ibuprofen or any other medicine in the NSAID class (except Aspirin) increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. You should inform your doctor if you have any heart disease or heart disease risk factors.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking ibuprofen.

Also mention to your doctor, before you take Ibuprofen, if you are also taking ACE inhibitors or if you have asthma, lupus or if you are about to undergo any type of surgery.

People who smoke and drink alcohol regularly – particularly more than three alcoholic drinks in a day – while taking Ibuprofen increase their risk for stomach bleeding.

Do not take Ibuprofen if you take blood thinners, such as warfarin, Aspirin or heparin or oral steroids. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had ulcers, bleeding in your stomach or other bleeding disorders.

If you suffer from phenylketonuria, PKU, make sure you read the label on nonprescription ibuprofen to ensure it doesn’t contain the artificial sweetener aspartame, which could trigger the onset of the disease’s mental retardation.



As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These medication descriptions are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no medication regimen without first checking with your physician. Again, this information should in no way substitute or be mistaken for medical advice.

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
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