|MadSci Network: Medicine|
No difference whatsoever. It's purely the total amount not the number or size of the pills. The over-the-counter ibuprofen recommended dose is 2 X 200 mg. However, the recommended dose for most uses, when ibuprofen was only by prescription, was 800 mg total or 4 X 200 mg. The reason the drug companies do this is that it minimizes adverse effects and thus minimizes their liability. However, because it's a lower than optimal dose, it's also less effective. Most drugs that were previously prescription and now are sold over the counter, are sold over the counter is a lower dose than the typical recommended prescription dose. Not all such drugs, but most. Again, it minimizes adverse effects even if it results in less effect. Now all that said, I'd still at least start with the lower dose of 2 x 200 mg and see if that's enough. If not, it's safe, for SHORT TERM USE, to go to twice that dose. Short term is defined at 2-3 days. If you need that dose for longer than 2-3 days, see your doctor.
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