Can I Take Advil On A Plane? Everything You Need To Know

Traveling on a plane often leads to headaches and other aches and pains due to changes in air pressure. You may be wondering if you can take Advil or other over-the-counter pain medications with you on a flight to help relieve these symptoms. The short answer is yes, you can take Advil on a plane.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide detailed information on what you need to know about bringing Advil and similar medications containing ibuprofen on airplanes. We’ll cover TSA regulations, dosage recommendations, potential side effects at altitude, tips for proper storage, and alternatives you can consider for pain relief when flying.

TSA Regulations on Flying with Advil

When it comes to traveling with medication, it’s important to be aware of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. Advil, which is an over-the-counter medication used to relieve pain and reduce fever, is allowed on airplanes both in carry-on and checked bags.

Advil Allowed in Carry-On and Checked Bags

The TSA permits passengers to bring Advil in their carry-on bags as well as their checked bags. This means that you can have Advil with you during your flight for any discomfort or pain that may arise.

Whether you prefer to keep it in your personal bag or in your checked luggage, you can rest assured that you won’t have to go without this pain-relieving medication while traveling.

Follow the 3-1-1 Rule for Liquids

When packing Advil in your carry-on bag, it’s important to follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. This rule states that all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and they must be placed in a clear, quart-sized bag.

Each passenger is allowed one quart-sized bag, and it must be placed separately in a bin for screening. By adhering to this rule, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free security screening process.

Consider TSA Policies of Other Countries for International Flights

If you are traveling internationally, it’s important to consider the TSA policies of the country you are flying to. While many countries have similar regulations regarding medications, it’s always a good idea to check the specific guidelines for the destination you are visiting.

This information can usually be found on the official website of the country’s airport or the TSA equivalent in that country. By doing a quick search and familiarizing yourself with their regulations, you can avoid any potential issues when traveling with Advil.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to pack medications in their original packaging with clearly labeled prescriptions. This can help facilitate the security screening process and ensure that you have a stress-free travel experience.

If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the TSA or the airline you are flying with for clarification.

Recommended Dosage of Advil for Flights

When it comes to taking Advil on a plane, it’s important to understand the recommended dosage to ensure your safety and comfort during the flight. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Take Only as Directed

First and foremost, it’s crucial to follow the instructions provided on the Advil packaging or as directed by your healthcare professional. The recommended dosage may vary depending on factors such as your age, weight, and the severity of your symptoms.

Taking more than the recommended dosage can lead to adverse effects and potential health risks.

Maximum Daily Dosage

It’s important to be aware of the maximum daily dosage of Advil. According to the manufacturer’s guidelines, the maximum recommended daily dosage for adults is generally 1200 mg. However, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or pharmacist to determine the appropriate dosage for your specific needs, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Account for Dehydration in the Air

When flying, it’s common for passengers to experience dehydration due to the dry cabin air. This can potentially affect the way medications are absorbed by the body. It’s important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay hydrated.

Additionally, consider discussing with your healthcare professional if any adjustments to your Advil dosage are necessary to account for the potential effects of dehydration.

Avoid Alcohol While Taking Advil

While it may be tempting to enjoy a drink or two during your flight, it’s best to avoid alcohol when taking Advil. Alcohol can increase the risk of certain side effects associated with Advil, such as stomach irritation and drowsiness.

It’s important to prioritize your well-being and avoid any potential interactions that could compromise your comfort during the flight.

Ultimately, it’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Advil, especially when traveling. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and help ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

Potential Side Effects of Advil at Altitude

Increased Risk of Stomach Ulcers and Bleeding

While Advil, also known as ibuprofen, is generally safe to take for pain relief, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects when taking it at high altitudes. One of the main concerns is an increased risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding.

The lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes can make the lining of the stomach more vulnerable to irritation, which can lead to the development of ulcers. This risk is even higher for individuals who already have a history of stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding.

It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Advil if you have any pre-existing stomach conditions or are planning to travel to high altitudes.

Headaches as a Rebound Effect

Another potential side effect of taking Advil at altitude is experiencing headaches as a rebound effect. While Advil can provide temporary relief from headaches, prolonged use or taking it too frequently can actually lead to more frequent headaches. This is known as a rebound effect.

At high altitudes, where headaches are already a common occurrence due to factors such as dehydration and lack of oxygen, the rebound effect can exacerbate the problem. It is advisable to use Advil sparingly and only as needed, following the recommended dosage guidelines.

Other Possible Side Effects

In addition to the aforementioned risks, there are other possible side effects to be aware of when taking Advil at altitude. These may include dizziness, nausea, indigestion, and an increased heart rate.

These side effects can be exacerbated by the altitude and may vary depending on an individual’s sensitivity to the medication. It is always a good idea to read the medication label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions.

It’s important to note that the information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you have specific questions or concerns about taking Advil at altitude, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Proper Storage of Advil on Flights

When it comes to traveling with medication, it’s important to know the proper storage guidelines to ensure the effectiveness and safety of your medication. This is no different when it comes to Advil, a commonly used over-the-counter pain reliever.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when storing Advil on flights:

Keep Medication in Your Carry-On

When traveling by plane, it is recommended to keep your medication, including Advil, in your carry-on bag rather than packing it in your checked luggage. This way, you have easy access to it in case you need it during the flight or in case your checked luggage gets delayed or lost.

Additionally, keeping your medication with you ensures that it stays at a controlled temperature, as the cargo hold of the plane can sometimes be subject to extreme temperatures.

Ensure Container is Leakproof

When packing Advil or any other medication in your carry-on, it’s important to make sure that the container is leakproof. This is to prevent any accidental spills or leaks that could potentially damage your belongings or cause inconvenience during the flight.

Most Advil packages are designed to be leakproof, but it’s always a good idea to double-check before packing it in your carry-on.

Protect Advil from Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can affect the potency and effectiveness of medications, including Advil. It is recommended to store Advil in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or extreme heat. This is especially important during air travel, as the temperature inside the cabin can vary.

If you have a longer flight or are traveling to a destination with hot weather, you might consider bringing a small insulated bag or a pill organizer with a temperature-controlled compartment to keep your Advil at an optimal temperature throughout the journey.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Advil remains in good condition and ready for use during your flight. Remember to always consult the airline’s regulations and guidelines regarding the transportation of medications to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Alternatives to Advil for In-Flight Aches and Pains

When you’re traveling by plane, it’s not uncommon to experience aches and pains, especially on long flights. While Advil is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever, you may be wondering if you can take it with you on a plane.

In some cases, you can, but it’s always a good idea to have alternatives on hand in case you can’t or prefer not to take Advil. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Acetaminophen, commonly known by its brand name Tylenol, is another commonly used pain reliever that can be taken on a plane. It is effective in reducing pain and fever, making it a suitable alternative to Advil.

However, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage and not exceed the daily limits to avoid any potential side effects. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.


Aspirin is another option for relieving pain and inflammation. It can also help reduce the risk of blood clots during long flights. However, it’s important to note that aspirin is not suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions or who are taking other medications.

Always consult with your doctor before taking aspirin or any other medication.

Topical Pain Relievers

If you prefer not to take oral medications, you can consider using topical pain relievers such as creams, gels, or patches. These are applied directly to the affected area and can provide localized relief. Some popular topical pain relievers include Bengay, Icy Hot, and Salonpas.

They can be easily carried in your carry-on bag and used as needed during the flight.

Stay Hydrated

One often overlooked method of relieving aches and pains during a flight is staying hydrated. Dehydration can contribute to muscle cramps and soreness, so it’s important to drink plenty of water before and during your flight.

Additionally, staying hydrated can also help prevent headaches and keep your body functioning properly. So, don’t forget to pack a water bottle and drink water regularly throughout your journey.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are currently taking other medications. It’s also important to read and follow the instructions on the medication packaging.

For further information, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites for more information on medication safety and travel guidelines.


We hope this guide provides you with the key information you need to decide if bringing Advil on an airplane is right for your situation. While Advil is permitted in both carry-on and checked bags, be mindful of dosage recommendations and potential side effects that may be enhanced at altitude.

Consider safer alternatives like acetaminophen or aspirin as well. With the proper precautions, you can manage headaches, muscle aches, cramps and other common discomforts that may arise during air travel.

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