How Long After Ibuprofen Can I Drink (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least an hour

Ibuprofen is a medicine that is commonly used to alleviate pain, fever symptoms, and swelling. The drug is a non-steroidal one. It is sold by many brands as an over-the-counter medicine including Advil and Midol. As an over-the-counter medicine, ibuprofen does not need a doctor’s prescription to buy the drug. Generally, ibuprofen is also used in place of paracetamols by people.

Drinking on medication is generally discouraged by all medical professionals. Ibuprofen is no different. However, there are several specificities involved when considering drinks after one has taken ibuprofen to relieve some of the symptoms that the individual may be suffering from.

How Long After Ibuprofen Can I Drink?

The general thumb rule when consuming medicines is to avoid the intake of alcohol or intoxicants with the drug. This is one of the most common norms that the patient must follow in order to stop the symptoms from aggravating. Yet it is important to remember that the amount of alcohol and the drug consumed by the individual also has a bearing on this norm.

With Ibuprofen the rule is more or less the same. However, there are always exceptions to this set rule. It is often stated that if one takes a small amount of Ibuprofen with a small amount of alcohol, the interactions will be minimal if any.

However, consuming alcohol must be delayed for at least an hour after the individual has taken a dose of Ibuprofen. This is to ensure that there are no complex interactions between the two. Nonetheless, it must be mentioned that when the person has taken Ibuprofen, whether one hour ago or a couple of hours ago, he or she must refrain from ingesting larger quantities of alcohol.

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Some studies demonstrate the safety of Ibuprofen and alcohol by stating that the two can also be taken together, simultaneously. However, it is best to avoid such risky endeavors and wait for a while before consuming alcoholic beverages after a dose of Ibuprofen.

Moreover, if the person has a history of stomach issues or has been diagnosed with gastric ulcers and lesions, he or she should adhere to the waiting period before consuming alcohol after taking any drugs, including Ibuprofen. This is to ensure that the health of the person does not deteriorate any further.

In Summary:

Circumstances   Waiting Period
General NormNo alcohol after Ibuprofen
Small Amounts of AlcoholNo waiting after Ibuprofen
Larger Amounts of AlcoholAt least 1-2 hours

Why Can I Drink So Long After Ibuprofen?

Doctors would generally ask patients to refrain from taking Ibuprofen and alcohol together because alcohol is known to reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs. It can also intensify certain effects. The latter is more probable when one consumes Ibuprofen with alcohol.

This reaction is only probable when the alcohol consumed by the individual is in an overwhelmingly high amount. When it is consumed with small amounts of alcohol, these adverse reactions are quite rare. Again, it must be stated that this is only true for those who do not suffer from stomach issues.

The main reason that doctors ask patients to wait for an hour is that consuming the two in close intervals can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. This risk is quite high in patients who drink regularly and also consume Ibuprofen in a fairly regular manner.

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However, another school of thought proposes that Ibuprofen is processed by the kidneys and alcohol is processed by the liver. Thus, the possibility of the two interacting is quite less. This means that it is fairly safe to consume the two close to each other.

Nonetheless, it is always better to remain on the side of caution and wait for an hour or two before drinking when you have taken a dose of Ibuprofen. If you have taken a significantly large dose and have a history of stomach issues, it’s best to avoid alcohol completely to bypass any possible complications from the episode. If you feel you are experiencing any adverse reaction to the drug, you must consult a medical professional immediately.

Conclusion

When a person is suffering from pains or fever, taking ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms may seem like a top choice. However, it is important to note that there are other parameters to consider including the interactions of the drug with other medicines, the patient’s overall health, or the individual’s consumption of alcohol.

Generally, it is not advisable to consume alcohol when one has already taken ibuprofen. However, it is also true that if the patient is overall healthy, he or she can take ibuprofen with small amounts of alcohol without risking adverse reactions. However, if the person suffers from comorbidities, it is best to wait for an hour after the drug to consume alcohol.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1530-0277.1991.tb00577.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002927099005766