Exact Answer: Immediately
Advil or Ibuprofen is one of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) medicine taken by people worldwide. While it is common knowledge that medication and alcohol should never mix, there are different restrictions on different kinds of medicines.
Advil belongs to the family of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are taken to relieve pain and inflammation in the body. Usually, people reach out for an Advil to relieve minor headaches, common cold, menstrual cramps, toothaches etc. Advil is also useful to reduce fever and is generally less ‘heavy’ on the body than paracetamol.
How Long After Advil Can I Drink?
This answer is largely dependent on two vital factors – the dosage taken, and the amount of alcohol you plan to drink. First, it’s important to be responsible about the amount of Advil you are ingesting. If you are taking a dose prescribed by your doctor, then there is no need to worry.
If however, you are popping an Advil without prescription, then it is recommended you should take only 400 mg once every 4-6 hours (for adults and teenagers). Any more than that and it will start causing inflammation in your stomach and intestines, increasing your pain instead of relieving it.
The second factor to be taken into consideration is how much you are planning to drink. If you plan to take around 3-4 drinks (normal consumption), then you can start drinking immediately after having Advil. If you plan to drink heavily, then it is best to postpone your plans by at least 5-6 hours and at most 24 hours. It is a poor idea to mix a lot of alcohol with Advil in your body.
Of course, other factors like a person’s pre-existing medical conditions, gender, specific medication requirements and genetic predispositions also play into deciding when and how much alcohol to drink after taking Advil. It is best to discuss with your doctor if you are planning to change your habitual consumption. If in a hurry, consider consulting the chemist at the very least.
|Type of alcohol consumption||Time (in hours)|
|Normal (2-3 drinks for men, 1-2 drinks for women)||immediately|
|Heavy (>4 drinks)||5 – 6|
Why Should I Wait That Long After Advil To Drink?
Drinking small amounts of alcohol after Advil generally does not lead to harm in the majority of cases. As discussed, it depends on several factors. Taking the occasional Advil with a moderate amount of alcohol will not interfere with your normal bodily processes.
Since Advil is an NSAID, it may cause intense gastrointestinal problems if consumed frequently with alcohol. Studies show that people who regularly mix the two substances suffer from irritation in their stomach lining, and in severe cases peptic ulcers.
Such frequent use also highly increases the risk of kidney damage. Moreover, alcohol is a ‘downer’ – a type of drug that relaxes and inhibits your senses. Similarly, Advil relaxes your pain and lowers alertness levels. Thus drinking too much alcohol after Advil may lead to loss of consciousness in the person.
Sometimes, alcohol may lower the effectiveness of the drug in your body. If you feel the following symptoms after taking an Advil with alcohol, you should immediately stop drinking anymore and seek medical attention:
- Change in blood pressure
- Irritation in stomach
- Sudden lack of coordination
- Shortage of breath
Always consult the medicine’s package for any instructions with regards to alcohol consumption after taking it. Do not try to guess the dosage of Advil or the acceptable amount to drink after it. Drink responsibly and it will ensure no lasting damage is done to your body.
We can surmise that moderate amounts of alcohol can be drunk immediately after taking an Advil in normal circumstances. However, the best course of action is to follow the rule of thumb of avoiding alcohol after taking any kind of medication. In case you have a prescription for Advil, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor the kind of alcohol consumption that is safe for you.
Be honest about your drinking habits to get accurate advice from your physician. This would help you avoid any unintended side effects from drinking alcohol after taking your medicine.