Can You Take Ibuprofen With Mucinex?

According to a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are used by 11.2% to 93.7% of people worldwide. In the United States alone, over 80% of Americans use OTC medications as a first response to common ailments, per Pharmacy Times. It's also common for people to combine different OTC drugs; however, when combining drugs like Mucinex and ibuprofen, it's vital to understand how drug interactions work to ensure safe and effective treatment. 

Drug interactions occur when two or more medications interact in a way that alters their effectiveness, per MSD Manual. Some drugs can interact with one another and change the way they work in the body. For example, taking certain medications together can change the metabolized rate of one drug and increase the concentration of the drug in the body. In some cases, drug interactions can increase the risk of some side effects, says Healthline. Drug interactions can occur between prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and even some foods. Additionally, having certain medical conditions — such as liver or kidney disease — can also increase the risk of drug interactions.  

If you plan to combine two different drugs, like Mucinex and ibuprofen, following the recommended dosage instructions for each medication and understanding the side effects of each is important. Here's what you should know about using Mucinex and ibuprofen together safely.

How do Mucinex and ibuprofen work?

Mucinex is a brand of medication that is used to treat coughs and congestion. The active ingredient in Mucinex is guaifenesin, which is an expectorant, according to WebMD. When you have a respiratory infection or allergy, your body produces excess mucus to help protect your tissues from dehydration (per Premier Health). This excess mucus can build up in your lungs, sinuses, and throat, causing coughing and congestion. Guaifenesin works by loosening and thinning this mucus, making it easier to cough up and clear out of your airways, per the Mayo Clinic. Mucinex is commonly used to treat conditions such as the common cold, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections. It is also used to treat cough and congestion caused by allergies and asthma. 

Ibuprofen, on the other hand, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain, headaches, and fever, per Healthline. It works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that cause inflammation in the body. The body produces prostaglandins in response to injury or illness, and they can cause pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the injury or infection. By inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, ibuprofen can also help to reduce pain. In addition to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, ibuprofen can also be used to reduce fever.

Is it safe to take ibuprofen and Mucinex together

According to, ibuprofen, and Mucinex can be taken together since no interactions have been found. However, it's always best to consult a healthcare provider before taking new medications or combinations. One 2009 study published in Neuro Endocrinology Letters found that when co-administered, guaifenesin enhances the analgesic effects of ibuprofen. 

While there are no known drug interactions between ibuprofen and Mucinex, both medications can have side effects. Ibuprofen can cause stomach upset, nausea, and dizziness, especially if taken in high doses or for an extended period of time. Mucinex can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. In rare cases, it can cause an allergic reaction.

Also, be aware that Mucinex is available in various forms, including tablets, liquid, and extended-release tablets. The extended-release tablets are designed to release the medication slowly over a period of 12 hours, per Mucinex. On the other hand, the dosage and method of taking ibuprofen will depend on the strength of the product you are using and any medical conditions you may have. Furthermore, ibuprofen tablets or capsules should be taken with a full glass of water, preferably with food, to reduce the risk of stomach upset.