Why You Shouldn't Mix Ibuprofen And Fish Oil Supplements

Ibuprofen is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever widely taken by many. But did you know that mixing ibuprofen with other supplements can actually be harmful? Experts say to be cautious about mixing ibuprofen with fish oil.

You may be wondering, what exactly is fish oil? Fish oil contains beneficial oils that can be gained from eating fish or taking a supplement. These Omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (via WebMD). Fish oil is used for heart health, and is also popular with pregnant women: It can help regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, nerve transmission, inflammatory and allergic responses, functions of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and the production of other hormones (via the American Pregnancy Association). 

While fish oil provides numerous benefits on its own, combining supplements with an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen can be riskier. Experts say that the two together could increase your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding because they both have bleeding as a potential side effect (via Best Life).

Warning signs for side effects of fish oil and ibuprofen

But don't let taking ibuprofen for a headache stop you from ordering fish for dinner. The risk solely is for the supplements of fish oil, as it contains a higher concentrated amount of Omega-3s, according to Best Life. You should consult with your doctor if you are on any medication that affects your blood or blood clotting before starting to take fish oil supplements.

There are some warning signs to look out for if you have taken ibuprofen and fish oil supplements. If you experience bleeding or bruising, weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness; have red or black tarry stools; cough up or vomit fresh or dried blood; or have a severe headache, you should seek medical attention (via Drugs.com).

It is also recommended you inform your doctors of any other medications you may be taking — including vitamins and herbal supplements. As always, don't make any major changes to your dietary routine until consulting with medical professionals.