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Is Cycling Different Medications Better, Worse, No Difference?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Pain Medications

I have been using ibuprofen daily for 6 months to manage/mask some back/sciatic/leg pain that became chronic. On average 400 mg. A couple of times I used acetaminophen, and it helped a bit, but not as much as the ibuprofen.

However, I wonder if cycling between the two is a good idea in order to reduce the risks of side effects from just taking one over a long period of time.

Does anyone do this?


  • I don't use NSAIDs for inflammation or pain myself, but it's a well known fact that ibuprofen can take a couple (2-4) days to build up in your body before realizing full, positive effects. I would imagine that disrupting this 'full/potent' condition with tylenol interruptions might not have any positive side effect other than those typically expected, and that then you would be behind schedule, so to speak, when taking your next ibuprofen tab.

    This seems to be a pretty simple question, but is probably best directed to your own doctor or therapist.


  • My neurologist would put me on drug holidays for certain long term meds I have been on. I would switch to different meds for 6 months to a year before cycling back on to the original med. This was all with the strict guidance of the neurologist though. It helps to bring back the therapeutic effect of the specific medication by giving my body a break from it.

  • It's also important to speak with your doctor about any potential cardiovascular issues with taking NSAIDS long term.

    Grant it, I have heart disease, but my Cardiologist doesn't want me taking any NSAIDS.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Periodic change is another strategy that we should all try to use and it is difficult having found what you think works for you only to have to change as and when required, we are all more susceptible to associated side effect for the medication we take, the most useful question would be to ask your pain specialist or doctor so that you know what changes and options you have.

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