People are so used to self-medicating that it is easy for anyone to pick an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. Among the medicine most commonly purchased OTC is ibuprofen. If you look at the prescription though, this is one medicine that should not be mixed with alcohol. Doing so would yield certain side effects that go from mild to severe. Unfortunately, there are extreme cases that lead to death.

There are some who seem not to mind the risks of mixing ibuprofen and alcohol. Others are just too confident nothing bad will come out of combining the two. Some are just too dependent on alcohol that they cannot give up drinking even when they are taking the medicine.

But, is it okay to mix ibuprofen and alcohol? What are its possible side effects?


What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is the answer if you are experiencing pain due to common everyday reasons like arthritis or a headache. It can also be used to lower fevers. Ibuprofen is a pain reliever classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

It is also known to bear antiplatelet effect. This simply means that individuals taking it are protected from blood clots just like aspirin but not as effective as the latter. Motrin, Advil, and Midol are some of the most common brand names of this drug.

Taking NSAID is not the same as using a narcotic. There is no change in the way you behave or think. It works to block the production of prostaglandins, which the body releases when there is injury or illness. This can cause inflammation manifested by swelling and pain.

Ibuprofen works pretty fast as you will almost immediately feel pain relief after taking it. However, its anti-inflammation components take a little bit longer. This medicine comes in several forms – gels, tablets, and sprays.

While it is available OTC, its use comes with a warning. People with sensitivity to NSAIDs, severe heart failure, and those who have or have had a peptic ulcer are not advised to use it. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also advises individuals to get immediate medical attention if they experience certain symptoms after ingesting the drug.

These symptoms include chest pain, breathing problems, or slurred speech. Those with kidney problems, asthma or liver condition should also use ibuprofen with caution. Taking ibuprofen also has side effects, the most common of which include dyspepsia, diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea. It also has less common side effects – hypertension, bloating, fluid retention, dizziness, inflammation of the stomach, and digestive ulcers.

It can also potentially interact with medicines for high blood pressure, lithium, and aspirin among many others. These only go to show that taking the medicine must proceed with much caution more so if an individual is ingesting other medications or substances.

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Should You Mix Ibuprofen and Alcohol?

You can easily get a headache from a drinking session. If you need to get rid of the pain, should you reach for ibuprofen? You should think this through given the definite risks that come with drinking alcohol and taking ibuprofen at the same time.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol with the drug can yield potential risks. The more alcohol you drink, the higher the risks.

Here are some of the risks of mixing alcohol and ibuprofen:

  • Lack of alertness – Combining alcohol and ibuprofen can make you feel drowsy, thus increasing your risks of getting into an accident.

  • Damage kidney – Mixing alcohol and ibuprofen for a long period of time can damage the kidneys. Among the signs that your kidney problem is possibly caused by the lethal combination are swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles, feeling tired, and shortness of breath.

  • Less effective medication – The medicines you are taking become less effective if mixed with alcohol. Doing so may even exacerbate the side effects.

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding – Regularly combining alcohol and ibuprofen increases your risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Among the signs that your stomach problem is possibly caused by the lethal combination are black tarry stools, ongoing upset stomach, and blood in the vomit.

Is it Possible to Mix Alcohol and Ibuprofen?

Mixing alcohol and ibuprofen is possible if you drink only a small amount of liquor. However, this should be proceeded with caution and must be avoided as much as possible. Alcohol, by itself, already has effects on the body and this can even be more so if taken with ibuprofen which also carries with it a host of side effects.

The safest way though is to avoid taking any pain medication if you are drinking alcohol. Alcohol can irritate your stomach and intestinal tract and ingesting the NSAID such as ibuprofen can only make things worse. Long-term alcohol and ibuprofen use can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal problems.

Stomach bleeding is likely to take place for individuals over the age of 60 who experienced stomach bleeding in the past. The same is true for people who take high doses of ibuprofen.

It is advised that you talk to your doctor about the risks of alcohol and ibuprofen as well as the potential risks of taking OTC medicines. If you are unable to stop drinking and needing ibuprofen for your pain, then it is time for you to consider rehabilitation.

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Alcohol Addiction Rehab at Chapters Capistrano

Kicking the habit of drinking alcohol proves to be very challenging to a lot of people. There are some who are too afraid to stop out of fear of the withdrawal symptoms. But alcohol addiction is a serious condition that should be given proper attention.

Chapters Capistrano can help you in your recovery journey. We are here to provide you with a luxurious alcohol rehab program. We understand the discomfort that comes with detoxification and we aim to take some of the burdens off you by providing excellent service. Our team of medical professionals is at your disposal to help you get through the trying times.

Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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