Is Zarbee's Safe With Motrin Or Advil?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is a drug interaction between Motrin and Zarbee's Cough Syrup.


My son is sick. He is coughing and has a very runny nose. He also has a fever. I have been using Zarbee's cough syrup and I think that it's helping. His fever hasn't gotten better though. I want to sure that it is safe to give him Motrin in addition to the Zarbee's I'm giving him now.

Asked by Stephanie On Aug 13, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Aug 13, 2021
Last updated Aug 12, 2022

Key points

  • There is no known interaction between Motrin (ibuprofen) and any of the ingredients contained in Zarbee's Cough Syrup (dark honey and grapefruit seed extract).
  • Motrin (ibuprofen) has no reported interactions with the ingredients contained in other Zarbee's products either (African Geranium Root, ivy leaf, melatonin, agave syrup, zinc, pectin and elderberry).

Hello and thank you for your question!

I'm sorry to hear your son isn't feeling well, although I'm happy to hear that Zarbee's cough syrup is helping with some of his symptoms.

Using Zarbee's Cough And Motrin Together

In terms of using Motrin (ibuprofen) to help reduce your son's fever, that is perfectly fine to use as Motrin has no known interaction with any of the ingredients in Zarbee's cough syrup products.

This applies to any drug that contains ibuprofen, including Advil and other generic over-the-counter ibuprofen products.

Zarbee's is also considered safe to use with Aleve (naproxen) as well.

What Is In Zarbee's Cough Syrup?

Zarbee's is a brand name, and there are several different Zarbee's cough products on the market. These products include:

  • Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup + Mucus
  • Zarbee's Cough Syrup + Mucus & Immune
  • Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup
  • Zarbee's Children's Nighttime Cough Syrup + Mucus
  • Zarbee's Baby Cough Syrup
  • Zarbee's Baby Cough Syrup + Mucus

As you can see, Zarbee's makes several different products, so there are many options for you to use.

In your question, you mentioned Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup specifically.

This product contains (in addition to the inactive ingredients):

  • Dark Honey
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract

Zarbees children cough syrup supplement facts

Dark honey is included in this product to help relieve cough symptoms.

Interestingly enough, multiple studies have shown that, in children, honey appears to be just as effective as Delsym (dextromethorphan). From one large Cochrane review study:

Moderate quality evidence suggests honey did not differ significantly from dextromethorphan in reducing cough frequency
Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2012 Mar 14

So, if you are looking for a 'non-drug' option to treat your child's cough, a product with honey, like Zarbee's, is certainly a good option.

Grapefruit seed extract, which is also contained in Zarbee's Cough Syrup, is likely added to the product as it has a high level of antioxidants and can also help improve the absorption of certain nutrients.

Although grapefruit juice is fairly notorious for having several serious drug interactions (e.g. with 'statin' medications), it does not have a known interaction with Motrin (ibuprofen).

What About Other Zarbee's Products With Motrin?

As mentioned, there are plenty of other Zarbee's products out there, that contain different ingredients from what is included in their cough syrup. These ingredients include:

  • African Geranium Root
  • Ivy Leaf
  • Melatonin
  • Agave Syrup
  • Zinc
  • Pectin
  • Elderberry

After thoroughly looking into each of these, there is no evidence that any of them interact with Motrin (ibuprofen).

You can feel safe using Zarbee's Cough Syrup, as well as other Zarbee's products, with Motrin (ibuprofen).


About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Feel free to send him an email at! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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