Can You Take Muscle Relaxers And Ibuprofen Together?

The Marines like to say, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." But sometimes you need a little help to shuttle out that "weakness." So, perhaps you take a muscle relaxer to ease the muscle spasms in your lower back. Later that day you go for a walk and notice your knee is hurting, so you pop some ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), to tackle the inflammation there. Then you freak out, wondering if taking both muscle relaxers and ibuprofen might cause a negative interaction.

There are no known interactions between ibuprofen and some of the more common muscle relaxants, including Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), baclofen, benzodiazepines, and metaxalone, according to That said, you should still connect with your doctor before taking ibuprofen with a muscle relaxant. It's also important to consider the dose of each medication. According to Addiction Resource, taking muscle relaxants and ibuprofen together at higher doses can lead to slowed breathing, headache, nausea, tiredness, or constipation. A 2022 study in CNS Drugs found that new users of muscle relaxants who also took a precipitant drug (such as NSAIDs or antibiotics) were more likely to suffer an unintentional traumatic injury.

Drugs that interact with ibuprofen and muscle relaxants

Although it's common to take ibuprofen for common pains, it's important to know how it might interact with other common medications you might already be taking. Ibuprofen somewhat thins your blood, so taking blood thinners with ibuprofen can cause excessive bleeding, according to GoodRx. It's best to take Tylenol for pain in this case. People might also take low-dose aspirin for their heart, but taking it with ibuprofen can lead to stomach ulcers. You should also avoid other NSAIDs if you're taking ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can make some blood pressure medications and diuretics less effective, while it can create toxic levels of lithium or methotrexate if you're taking these medications. Drinking alcohol with ibuprofen increases your risk of stomach bleeding.

You'll also want to avoid alcohol if you're taking muscle relaxers, according to theĀ Cleveland Clinic. Combining these two can cause extreme dizziness or drowsiness, low blood pressure, or liver damage. Muscle relaxants affect your nervous system, so taking another drug that affects your nervous system such as opioids or psychotropics should be avoided, according to Healthline. You also don't want to take St. John's wort or sleeping medications while on muscle relaxants.