Can You Take Ibuprofen And Excedrin Together?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not ibuprofen and Excedrin can be taken together.
Can you take ibuprofen and Excedrin together?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated Sep 25, 2022
- The use of ibuprofen and Excedrin is generally not recommended due to the increased risk of side effects, such as stomach bleeding.
- The combination of these two products should generally be avoided, especially since alternative therapies exist for both ibuprofen and Excedrin.
There is a drug interaction between ibuprofen and Excedrin which can lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Ibuprofen is an NSAID and Excedrin is a combination drug product that also contains an NSAID (aspirin). Taking both is considered a therapeutic duplication and is generally not recommended.
What Is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called 'Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs' (NSAIDs). It is sold under the names Advil, Motrin, Ibuprin, and Ibuprofen. It is commonly used for:
- Painful period (menstrual) cycles
It works by inhibiting a chemical in the body that causes inflammation called prostaglandins.
Some common side effects of ibuprofen include:
- GI ulceration/bleeding
- Raised liver enzymes
What Is Excedrin?
Excedrin is a combination product that contains aspirin, acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol), and caffeine. It is used primarily to treat migraine headaches and to ease pain.
- Aspirin belongs to a class of drugs called salicylates, which works by inhibiting a chemical in the body that causes inflammation called prostaglandins (similar to ibuprofen).
- Acetaminophen belongs to a class of medications used to treat pain called non-opioid analgesics. It works by blocking the enzyme that produces pain and inflammation generating prostaglandins. However, acetaminophen does not reduce swelling or inflammation.
- Caffeine is a mild stimulant.
Some common side effects of Excedrin include:
- Stomach ache
- Trouble sleeping
Ibuprofen With Excedrin Concerns
The increased risk of bleeding from the use of ibuprofen and Excedrin comes from the additive effects of ibuprofen, and the aspirin that Excedrin contains.
Although Excedrin has been shown to be effective at treating migraine headaches, there are a number of other alternative therapies, which may not interact with ibuprofen that can be used in its place if replacement therapy is desired.
There is an additional concern as well with taking ibuprofen and aspirin together.
Many individuals take aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack (i.e. myocardial infarction) by preventing the formation of clots that contribute to atherosclerosis. Certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may interfere with this inhibitory action, reducing the protective effects on the heart that aspirin provides.
Thanks for your question! Reach back out anytime.
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 6898 views
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