Many people are aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol with narcotic medications, but even mixing over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen with alcohol can be hazardous to your health. Taking ibuprofen and alcohol can cause mild to severe side effects, ranging from the medication losing its effectiveness to more serious effects like long-term kidney damage.
What Is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is often prescribed for pain, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness. Ibuprofen works by inhibiting the body’s production of prostaglandins, which can affect pain, swelling, and fever within the body. Common causes for ibuprofen use include joint pain, arthritis, menstrual pain, toothaches, and backaches.
Nonprescription ibuprofen can be sold under name brand or generic names, including Midol, Motrin, Profen IB, Neoprofen, and Advil. These forms of over-the-counter ibuprofen are usually found in the forms of pills, chewable tablets, liquids, and drops.
Ibuprofen may come in combination with other medications, which are usually available by prescription only.
Can You Mix Ibuprofen And Alcohol?
For some individuals, it’s a habit to reach for ibuprofen at the first sign of a headache or sore muscles, while others may decide to drink alcohol to destress or relax after a long day.
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While ibuprofen and alcohol each carry separate health risks, combining the two drugs can have dangerous side effects. To avoid this, individuals should not take ibuprofen while drinking alcohol.
Some of the risks of taking ibuprofen with alcohol include:
- Decreased alertness: ibuprofen may intensify the relaxing effects of alcohol, putting someone at risk for decreased coordination and judgment.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding: a regular combination of ibuprofen and alcohol can lead to stomach issues, including black stool, vomit with blood in it, and chronic nausea.
- Less effective medication: in some cases, using alcohol with certain medications can decrease effectiveness while activating the negative side effects.
- Kidney damage: combining alcohol and ibuprofen regularly can increase the chances of kidney damage, which can be fatal.
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Side Effects Of Ibuprofen
Any time a drug is ingested, it can cause side effects within the body. Typically, prescription drugs have been deemed worth the risk by a physician in order to treat the presenting medical concern. However, even taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can cause negative effects on your health, ranging from mild and temporary to long-term and severe.
Some of the short-term side effects ibuprofen can cause include:
- flu-like symptoms
- hives, itching, or a rash
- loss of appetite
Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol With Ibuprofen
Although drinking alcohol while taking ibuprofen may not seem like a huge issue, mixing alcohol with any medication can lead to serious health issues, including abuse and addiction. Alcohol is an extremely addictive drug, that is also widely accepted in many social circles. These factors not only contribute to the short-term health risks but can also be linked to more long-term medical concerns, including alcohol dependence.
Mixing alcohol and ibuprofen can lead to issues such as:
- heightened sensitivity to ibuprofen and alcohol
- increased risk of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
- potential hazard of developing an addiction
- increased risk of overdose
Many people rely on NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, to manage their joint or muscle pain. However, if you or someone close to you is regularly mixing alcohol with ibuprofen, it could be a sign of alcohol abuse and addiction.
Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse
For those who may be struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, there is help available. Alcohol use disorder is treatable with medication and various therapies. The first step in seeking treatment for alcohol abuse is finding a medically supervised detoxification service.
When someone ingests large amounts of alcohol, their body develops a physical dependence on the substance. If an individual stops drinking suddenly, their body will likely experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe.
Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- severe confusion
Because alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, it’s important to find a medically supervised detox service to ensure the patient detoxes in a safe and secure environment.
Medically supervised detoxes will typically provide supervision, support, and medication to keep the patient stable and comfortable throughout the detox process.
Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
Once an individual has successfully detoxed from alcohol, they are ready to begin treatment. Some of the options include inpatient (residential), outpatient (half-day), or partial hospitalization (full-day) treatment programs.
While inpatient is considered the highest level of care, each of these treatment types will provide a structured environment in which to begin recovery. Therapies in alcohol addiction treatment will likely include medication-assisted treatment, group and individual therapy, and 12-step meetings.
Additionally, services for dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders are available at most rehab facilities. These therapeutic services treat those with alcohol use disorder and any additional mental health diagnoses, such as depression or PTSD. In a dual diagnosis rehab center, individuals receive comprehensive and compassionate services for each mental health concern.
To learn more about ibuprofen and alcohol, or treatment for alcohol use disorder, contact one of our specialists today.