Taking Ibuprofen With This Popular Beverage Has An Unexpected Effect On Your Body

People all over the world love their coffee. After all, 87% of Americans consider coffee an obsession, according to Drive Research, so it's safe to say that it's a popular beverage. You grab one on the way to work, you visit the office's coffee machine a few times a day to get need that much-need pick-me-up, and sometimes you even turn to a cup if you have a late night planned. 

What if you have a headache at work? Can you take ibuprofen and wash it down with coffee? Combining coffee with ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), comes with its own set of unexpected effects. Per a 2015 study published in the journal Cochrane Library, taking a single dose of ibuprofen with caffeine significantly increased the analgesic effect of the drug. The study focused on acute postoperative pain relief in adults and concluded that taking 200 milligrams of ibuprofen with 100 milligrams of caffeine was more effective than consuming two tablets of the popular pain relief medicine minus the coffee.

Does this mean you should be reaching for a coffee every time you want to take ibuprofen? Not necessarily, say the experts.  

It's important to understand the side effects of both

If there are any definite concerns about how ibuprofen interacts with caffeine, science hasn't quite put a finger on it yet. But that doesn't mean there aren't any, per Drugs.com. While it might be safe to take low doses of the pain relief medication with a cup of coffee, people should also be aware of the side effects both of these popular products have. 

NSAIDs like ibuprofen come with words of caution (which are printed on the bottle itself), one of which is related to gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, particularly when you take a pill without having eaten anything, according to the director of clinical pharmacy at Sedgwick, Andrew Newhouse (via SingleCare). Some of the known side effects of ibuprofen include heartburn, stomach ulcers, and internal bleeding. 

While we turn to coffee to get things moving in the bathroom every morning, the popular beverage is also known to cause digestive issues, Healthline reported. For starters, caffeine can boost contractions in your GI tract. Some acids found in coffee can also increase the production of stomach acid. Also, caffeine could slow blood clotting and ibuprofen is considered a blood thinner. So there could be potentially adverse effects for some when it comes to bruising and bleeding, per RxList. What does this mean for combining coffee with ibuprofen? 

Be mindful of how your body reacts to combining coffee with ibuprofen

Andrew Newhouse explained to SingleCare that your popular morning beverage when combined with ibuprofen, may alter the way the NSAID is metabolized in your system. "Caffeine can interfere with how NSAIDs are broken down in the body, resulting in slightly higher concentrations than if the medication was taken without caffeine," shared the pharmacist. 

While there is nothing concrete to date, to indicate that taking both together could cause a negative outcome, the same might not apply to every person who tries it. There are things you might not know about ibuprofen, particularly concerning your body. 

If you do notice any gastrointestinal discomfort after having tried the combo, it's best that you hit pause on the habit or consider stopping altogether. Plus, if you have acute or chronic pain in your body that is making you consider turning to the analgesic boost of taking coffee with ibuprofen frequently, you may be better off getting the pain checked out by a healthcare professional who can prescribe more effective treatments.