I know much as been written about afib and Advil on this forum however I'm not knowing how to access it. I'm in a lot of pain and the doctors always say take Advil....I believe that is not good for people with afib correct? Could you point me in right direction or article on this please? Is Tylenol the only thing recommended for pain that's ok to use? Thanks!

12 Replies

  • Hi Eliza

    Firstly I am guessing you are in the US, but I suggest you stop using the brand names, only because you need to understand the drugs you are taking and brand names can sort of throw you off kilter, and maybe disguise what they contain.

    Advil is Ibuprofen which if you have AF is not usually a good pain killer to take, firstly it interacts with anti-coagulants which you are probably taking, and secondly some people think that Ibuprofen aggrevates AF.

    Tylenol is Acetaminophen or Paracetomol (usual name in the UK), and usually does not react with anti-coagulants. But it is not an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen.

    However I am not medically qualified, so please play safe, go and see your pharmacist or doctor, make sure you tell them all the drugs you are taking and then ask them what painkillers to take.

    Be well


  • Thanks....yes USA and understand the brand names vs universal names and I apologize. So much easier to say Advil or Tylenol rather than spelling out the others......but I am sorry and thank you for your response. Yes I am on anticoagulant.....we certainly are limited especially since often we need an anti inflammatory and cannot take one.

  • Further to what Ian says about Ibuprophen, some research in Denmark a few years ago gave it as a direct cause of AF in people who used it long term. I agree about the need for proper naming of drugs. Brand names can be quite different in different countries so it is important to quote the actual drug name.

    That said we should not be reccommending any drugs at all as we are not medically trained nor have individuals medical history.

  • I understand. I knew a lot had been written previously that I could not find so I appreciate your response.

  • I saw my dr just this week and asked him this same question. I have arthritic pain and asked if I should use only acetaminophen, although I knew what his answer would be. He said the other types of pain killers should not be used because of their effect on the anticoagulant.

    He then added that if a person has a lot of pain, there are prescription drugs that could be used.

  • Wow, good to know. Last week, I spent the day prepping then painting a porch and hurt in every cell of my body. I'd stopped using anything but acetomenephin (Tylenol) long ago because of ear ringing. However, I broke down and took a long-time favorite, Aleve, (naproxen sodium) along with a Tylenol. Oh. My. Goodness! I literally felt better for days! And yes, I'm on an anticoagulant....but it was worth it! Now, however, I guess I can't claim ignorance. If I need to slip again, I'll have to rely on the old crossed-fingers method of protection! Or stop painting porches. Hmmm, now there's a thought.

  • A while back I visited with my pharmacist on this topic. When I asked him about using something other than acetaminophen over the counter pain products he hesitated and said " I sure wouldn't take them very often; maybe on occasion but very very rarely." He in no way wanted to give me the green light for taking them.

    Maybe your doc could give you a prescription for something stronger when needed. ?

  • Thanks, Barbara, as I suspected. So far, I'm able to tough it out with Tylenol, but I suspect true antiinflammatories would benefit in so many ways. Aarghh, why can't we have it all?!

  • I checked with my pharmacist when diagnosed as have a bad knee and was used to popping ibuprofen. She said basically all you can take is paracetamol and or codeine. All cold remedies are generally out too as they contain stimulants which can cause decongestants for same reason. I chucked everything that might cause problems to avoid mix ups and just stocked up on paracetamol and codeine. It's a bother as anti-inflamatories like ibuprofen are ideal for certain types of pain.

  • I was told that if taking codeine then it should be on a prescription and not over the counter. Not sure of the differences but I suspect that with the prescription ones that there are various grades of stronger ones.

  • I just got back from my doctor and he made it clear to me to NEVER take Motrin or Advil and to only take Tylenol for pain as an Over the counter drug. I take tramadol when I have pain from my sciatic nerve. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Eliza,

    Regards from across the pond, my 3 doctors and dentist all concur that Tylenol (or Tylenol w/Codeine) are the only painkillers that I should take for mild or moderate pain since my sudden cardiac arrest and diagnosis of afib about one year ago. I have mild to moderate osteoarthritis and was taking Sodium Naproxin (Aleve), Advil or Aspirin before my heart stopped. I now take Tylenol, 500 mg, when my arthritis acts up and it does work for me. I rarely take Tylenol with Codeine; and only when the pain is bad enough to hinder walking. Fortunately, this is rare. As you know, most of the prescription pain killers can be seriously habit-forming. Best of health! As one of my hero's once said, "Never give up".

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