How Long After Nurofen Can You Drink Alcohol (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least 24 hours

Nurofen is simply the brand name for the drug, Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is packaged and sold in various brands such as Brufen, Advil, Midol, Motrin, and more. Ibuprofen falls under the NSAID branch of medicines. The full form of NSAID is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. You will find this type of drug in other names include Aspirin, Diclofenac, Naproxen, Celecoxib, and more.

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter drug (OTC), that is used to treat pain, swelling, and fever. Given that it is an OTC drug, it does not require a medical professional’s prescription. But this does not mean that Ibuprofen is not a strong drug, as it can pose very harmful side effects if it is not consumed correctly.

How Long After Nurofen Can You Drink Alcohol?

ObjectiveDuration
Time taken for Nurofen to completely leave the system24 hours
Time taken for Nurofen to affect the body4 – 6 hours

Details like dosage and alcohol consumption before and after the drug, are very important when it comes to medication. Traditionally, drinking alcohol after taking medication is always frowned upon, even when the alcohol consumption is very little. It is of utmost importance that you read the drug’s safety labels before taking them.

If Ibuprofen and alcohol are taken in the same 24 hour period, they pose many adverse bodily risks such as internal bleeding and kidney complications. A small amount of alcohol may not be dangerous while taking Nurofen, but consuming a more-than-recommended dosage of Ibuprofen or drinking large amounts of alcohol can significantly raise your risks. In addition, if you are a long-term Ibuprofen user, then there are higher chances of experiencing harmful side effects, along with alcohol consumption.

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Hence, it is advised to wait at least 24 hours after taking Nurofen, to consume alcohol. This is because it takes the human body up to 24 hours in order to completely remove Ibuprofen from the system, even though the effects of the drug usually last approximately 4 to 6 hours. Ibuprofen is metabolized and excreted through the urine, at a very fast rate.

It is important to wait 24 hours so you can avoid the dangerous interaction between alcohol and the drug. Once the Ibuprofen is completely out of the body, only then is it safe to drink alcohol. The same goes for when you drink alcohol and are confused about when to take Nurofen.

Why Does It Take That Long To Drink Alcohol After Nurofen?

One of the most harmful side effects is gastrointestinal bleeding. Long-term usage of Ibuprofen on its own can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines, so when combined with alcohol, there is an increased risk of internal bleeding. Moreover, there is a higher chance of developing gastric ulcers, stomach ulcer bleeding, irritation of the stomach lining, and bleeding in the digestive tract. Another side effect is a rapid heartbeat.

Mixing alcohol with Nurofen can also cause kidney complications. Both substances on their own are known to cause kidney damage. Alcohol puts excessive strain on the kidneys, causing them to not function effectively. Ibuprofen also affects the function of kidneys by halting the production of cyclooxygenase (COX), an enzyme. By stopping this, the drug decreases pain and inflammation. When mixed, the two substances can cause severe damage to the kidneys.

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Another side effect is impaired responsiveness. Both Ibuprofen and alcohol cause the user to feel drowsy and relaxed, along with a decrease in pain. When mixed, this can cause decreased alertness and increased drowsiness, which can lead to dangerous situations.

Simple activities like operating machinery and walking up and down the stairs can be difficult, and dangerous, because of decreased cognitive ability. Moreover, driving after taking medication and drinking alcohol, is strictly prohibited, as it can lead to accidents.

With age, comes the inability to break down alcohol effectively. Even small amounts of alcohol, alongside Ibuprofen, at an old age, can raise the risk of the aforementioned complications.

This is why it is always strongly recommended to only drink alcohol after 24 hours of consuming Ibuprofen/Nurofen.

Conclusion

If you are taking Nurofen, or any other form of Ibuprofen, please keep in mind the consequences of alcohol consumption, if the situation arises.

Alcohol can interfere with the function of drugs, rendering them less effective than they are supposed to be. In addition, it can also intensify and enhance the side effects that come with certain drugs.

When it comes to alcohol consumption after medication, Nurofen is not the only drug that should be taken with precaution, as it is risky to drink after most types of medication. Debilitating activities like drinking after driving and taking medication, are strongly advised against, as this can not only harm the affected driver, but it can also harm others around them.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/ibuprofen-alcohol
  2. https://www.verywellmind.com/mixing-alcohol-and-medication-harmful-interactions-67888

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