How Long After Taking Ibuprofen Can You Drink Alcohol?

How Long After Taking Ibuprofen Can You Drink Alcohol

When a nasty headache stops you from concentrating on your work, your hand automatically moves toward a potent pain reliever. Ibuprofen is one of the most common pain relievers against most body aches. It falls under the category of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The drug combination in Ibuprofen works against swelling, fever, and physical pains.

According to experts, you are least likely to encounter any problem if you occasionally have Ibuprofen on a full stomach with a small amount of alcohol. But, the problem happens when you have the medication with alcohol on an empty stomach. The simple reason being Ibuprofen, when mixed with alcohol, may cause numerous side effects. Some of these include kidney diseases, digestive tract, and stomach irritation.

How Long After Having Ibuprofen Can You Consume Alcohol?

Many people commonly consume alcohol and Ibuprofen. Thus, taking them together is often coincidental or unintentional. Abusing the combination of the two is not something you would usually want to do intentionally. The simple reason being the side effects of combining alcohol with Ibuprofen is not something you would ever desire.

According to medical jargon, Ibuprofen has 1.9 to 2.2 hours of half-life. On the other hand, your body takes about 4 to 5 half-lives to eliminate the drug or to keep it simple, your body takes around 10 hours to flush out Ibuprofen from the system. Thus, you must wait 10 hours after having Ibuprofen before you can have alcohol.

Common Side Effects

If you consume Ibuprofen and alcohol simultaneously, there is a high possibility of side effects arising inside your body. Here are some of the most common side effects of mixing alcohol with the drug.

1.    Stomach Ulcers

There are several NSAID medications, including Ibuprofen. These can increase the possibility of causing stomach bleeding and ulcers. If you have at least three drinks a day, the risk of stomach ulcers increases. Daily intake of alcohol with Ibuprofen makes it possible for both to be present in your system. This may increase the possibility of stomach bleeding and ulcers.

2.    Stroke and Heart Attack

As opposed to occasional consumers of NSAID medications, the possibility of suffering from heart attacks and strokes increases in people who regularly consume NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen. Similar risks are also prevalent in people having more than three drinks a day and taking Ibuprofen to get rid of hangovers.

3.    Stomach Upset

The deadly combination of Ibuprofen and alcohol tends to cause inflammation along your stomach lining. This may upset your stomach and cause gastritis. Thus, if you consume both simultaneously, it will simply enhance the effect.

4.    Drowsiness

You will find many people who feel exhausted after consuming alcohol. However, Ibuprofen also causes drowsiness in some rare situations. Thus, if you have both simultaneously, it may make you feel sleepier. The end result will be difficulty in concentrating on serious matters at hand. Driving in such situations may cause serious accidents.

5.    Kidney Dysfunction

The production of prostaglandins is reduced if you have any type of NSAID, including Ibuprofen. Prostaglandins help to control the blood flowing to your kidneys. If the production of prostaglandins is reduced, it will reduce the blood flowing to your kidneys. As a result, your kidneys may malfunction and fail to filter your blood properly.

How Long After Consuming Alcohol Can You Have Ibuprofen?

You know by now the duration you need to wait after having Ibuprofen before you can drink alcohol. However, very few of you know the time you need to wait after drinking alcohol before you can have Ibuprofen. Experts believe that you need to wait for at least 24 hours after drinking alcohol before you can consume Ibuprofen.

It is because alcohol remains in the human system for approximately 25 hours. But, some groups of people need to wait longer to process alcohol. These include people above 65 years of age, women, those suffering from liver ailments, and people from specific ethnicities, such as Asians.

How to Consume Your Medications Safely?

NSAID medications, such as Ibuprofen, are safe if you consume them for a short timeframe. This is because it is unsafe to have medications like Ibuprofen for a long time. There are other safer and more beneficial painkillers if you need to have them longer. Doctors usually prescribe other painkillers if you need such medicine for a long time.

When you decide to have Ibuprofen, you must read the label carefully because the drug is suitable for dealing with headaches and other physical pains. But, having Ibuprofen to get rid of hangovers after alcohol consumption is a bad idea because alcohol is still present inside your bloodstream.

Who Is More At Risk?

According to experts, those who are frequent drinkers or consume Ibuprofen regularly are more at risk of side effects caused by the mixture of the two. In addition, several groups of people are more at risk of side effects due to the mix of alcohol and NSAIDs.

  • Those who often consume high doses of Ibuprofen to relieve chronic pain.
  • Teenagers who frequently binge drink.
  • People suffering from mental health conditions or substance use disorders usually have high amounts of alcohol. They are also at a higher risk.
  • Those suffering from liver or kidney diseases.
  • People with dementia and other cognitive impairments are also at a higher risk. Such people fail to understand the importance of proper dosage.


If you follow a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly, you are more likely to be okay, even if you mix alcohol with Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. Nonetheless, it is always better to avoid combining alcohol with Ibuprofen. Mixing the two can cause various side effects, such as stomach upset, ulcers, and bleeding. You may also suffer from dizziness due to combining the two. The results of these side effects depend upon several factors. For example, it may depend upon the amount of alcohol you consume, the time gap between drinking alcohol and Ibuprofen, and how often you consume alcohol in a day.

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