I Am Thinking About Ulthera, but I Suffer from Frequent Headaches. Can I Still Take OTC Ibuprofen After the Procedure?

Doctor Answers 8

You can take ibuprofen after Ultherapy

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I have been doing Ultherapy since 2011 and have done hundreds of patients. My regimen is to give ibuprofen an hour before, immeditely before the procedure and 24-48 hours after the procedure along with Swell-X, a biofavonoid formula for 10-14 days. 

Motrin, ibuprofen, advil after Ultherapy may reduce the benefit from facial tightening

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As the bulk of the Ultherapy's effect may be derived from ongoing collagen production for months after the treatment, rather than immediate tightening, frequent consumption of non-steroidal antiinflammatory agents might decrease the amount of collagen that is produced. Tylenol would not interfere with collagen production. So if you could take acetaminophen (Tylenol) with your doctor's approval, instead of Motrin, Advil, Alleve, etc. when you have a headache for the first several months after the treatment,  then you could avoid the possible interaction. This is not to say, though, that patients who must continue taking their ibuprofen would not have a beneficial effect from Ultherapy and the treatment is not withheld from those people who are otherwise considered suitable candidates but take ibuprofen.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs. If you are experiencing a medical emergency proceed to your nearest emergency room.


Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ibuprofen and Ulthera

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We often suggest patients take Ibuprofen prior to Ultherapy.  Most of our patients have done very well with just Ibuprofen.  It is unlikely you will need to take anymore after the treatment, but if you experience any soreness you can certainly take it. 

Ritu Saini, MD - Account Suspended
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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Ibuprofen prior to Ultherapy Treatment

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Yes, you can take Ibuprofen before and after Ultherapy treatment. Most of our patients are comfortable with that choice. We just suggest that you lessen your intake a few days prior to the treatment to avoid bruising, which is a rare occurance. 

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

OTC NSAIDS are perfectly ok to take after Ulthera

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For pain control during procedure, I actually give motrin as part of a cocktail of medications.  It is safe and effective.  so go ahead!

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Can Ulthera Patients have Ibuprofen after the Procedure?

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Yes, there is no reason that you can't have Ibuprofen after Ulthera.  I give patients Toradol 1 hour before the procedure.  Toradol is a no steroidal anti-inflammatory pain med just like Ibuprofen.  

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Ibuprofen ok with Ulthera but not needed

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Ultherapy is a nonivasive procedure for facial skin lifting, and because there are no injections or surgery the use of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs is ok. After a surgical procedure these types of medications may contribute to bleeding or bruising. There is not usually any significant discomfort after Ulthera so pain meds aren't needed but can be used if necessary for other reasons such as headaches.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Ulthera is relatively gentle procedure and use of Ibuprofen before or after is not a problem

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Ultherapy is where focused ultrasound wave are aimed through the skin and into the facia of the face and muscles of the neck to tighten the underlying structures and as a result tighten and lift the skin of the forehead, face and neck. Newer techniques can actually make the lips look bigger and smooth the wrinkles around the eyes. 

Ultherapy is a relatively gentle procedure that is done with out needles or incisions. There is a little discomfort but some times we suggest that the patient take a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug (Ibuprofen, alive, etc) before surgery to make it more comfortable. It certainly is ok to take it after as long as you are not on some other medications which should not be combined. 

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.