Advil PM Side Effects

Advil PM is an over-the-counter oral medication intended to alleviate symptoms associated with sleeplessness and minor aches and pains. This medication contains two active ingredients: a nighttime sleep-aid -- diphenhydramine citrate -- and a pain reliever -- ibuprofen. The maximum recommended dose of this medication is two caplets over 24 hours.

A woman is sleeping. Credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images


An intended side effect of this medication is drowsiness. Advil PM should only be taken prior to your bedtime, as drowsiness, sleepiness or fatigue will occur after taking this medication. After taking Advil PM, do not attempt to drive or operate machinery as such actions can be hazardous to both you and those around you.

Stomach Upset

While taking Advil PM, you can develop an upset stomach as a side effect of this medication. Symptoms of stomach upset include nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. To limit the occurrence of such side effects, consider eating a light snack or meal before taking this medication.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Ibuprofen, a component of Advil PM, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and its use has been associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Approximately 17 percent of patients taking 1,600 milligrams of ibuprofen per day develop gastrointestinal blood loss, reports the website Patients taking Advil PM should not take more than the recommended dosage of this medication to prevent the occurrence of such side effects. Your risk of gastrointestinal bleeding is increased if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks per day, take other NSAID-containing drugs, have stomach ulcer or bleeding problems or are older than age 60, warns the Daily Med, a website established by the National Library of Medicine. If you begin vomiting blood or notice blood within your stools, stop taking Advil PM and contact your doctor immediately, as these symptoms can be a sign of intestinal bleeding.

Interactions and Warnings

You should not consume alcohol while taking Advil PM, as it can interact with both ingredients. An alcohol and diphenhydramine combination can enhance the drowsiness/dizziness effect of the medication. Alcohol mixed with ibuprofen will increase your risk of stomach bleeding even further. If you have high blood pressure you should not take Advil PM, as it can cause your body to retain fluid and raise your blood pressure even further. Extended use of Advil PM, or taking more than your prescribed amount, increases your risk of liver disease, asthma and stroke.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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