Can you mix ibuprofen with other medications?

Can you mix ibuprofen with other medications?

Ibuprofen can offer relief from pain, fever and inflammation, and it might be one of your go-to options if you’re suffering from anything from a sore throat to a sports injury or headache. When used correctly, it can be an effective way to reduce discomfort[1]. But is this over-the-counter treatment safe to use with other medications?

Unfortunately, ibuprofen doesn’t mix well with some medicines. For example, it can react with other anti-inflammatory painkillers, as well as certain medicines used to treat high blood pressure. This means that you should always read the product instructions or consult your doctor if you plan to use ibuprofen alongside other medications.

Compared to the tablets, capsules or liquids that you take orally, ibuprofen that you apply to your skin as a mousse, spray or gel is less likely to affect other medicines – but you should still always check the safety of using these products along with other treatments.   

It’s important to tell your doctor if you’re taking any of the following types of medicine before you start using ibuprofen[2]:

  • Steroids, such as hydrocortisone, betamethasone or dexamethasone
  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers, for example naproxen or aspirin
  • Certain antibiotics, including moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, moxifloxacin or norfloxacin
  • Diabetes treatments such as glipizide or gliclazide
  • Antidepressants including sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram and fluvoxamine

Below, we go into further detail about whether you can mix ibuprofen with three common types of medicine.

Can you take co-codamol with ibuprofen?

The short answer to this is yes, it is safe to take co-codamol with ibuprofen. Like ibuprofen, co-codamol is used to treat pain. Available in three strengths, two of which are only available on prescription, it contains two different types of painkillers. One is paracetamol and the other is codeine[2].

It’s important to note that, because it already contains paracetamol, you should avoid taking co-codamol with any other medicine that also features paracetamol. This is to avoid the risk of paracetamol overdose[3].

Can you take ibuprofen with antibiotics?

You can take ibuprofen with certain antibiotics, but not all. This means it’s really important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using this painkiller alongside a course of antibiotics.

Ibuprofen belongs to a group of medicines called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Most major classes of antibiotics don’t show any concerning reactions with NSAIDs, but some do. So, always make sure you read the product instructions carefully when starting an antibiotic treatment, and if you can’t find the information you’re looking for, speak to a healthcare professional[2].

Can you take ibuprofen with aspirin?

You shouldn’t take ibuprofen with aspirin without speaking to a doctor first. This is because, like ibuprofen, aspirin is a NSAID. This means that if you take both treatments together, you may be at an increased risk of a range of side effects, including stomach ache.

In contrast, it is safe to take aspirin alongside certain other painkillers, such as codeine or paracetamol[2].

There are a wide range of painkillers available now that can offer relief from a variety of health complaints. From Chloralieve’s throat lozenges, which are formulated to ease the discomfort of a sore throat by numbing pain and fighting infection, to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, you should be able to find treatment options that suit you. But before using these painkillers in combination with other medications, always check that it is safe to do so.