This Is Why You Should Never Mix Ibuprofen And Aspirin

Ibuprofen and aspirin certainly have a lot in common. They are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are effective at combating pain and fever. They also pose many of the same potential side effects, including a slim risk of gastrointestinal symptoms (per the Cleveland Clinic).

However, the two medicines are not the same. For example, ibuprofen may increase a person's risk of developing heart problems, which isn't the case for aspirin. In fact, when taken as prescribed by a doctor, aspirin may actually help certain populations protect against heart problems (per the Harvard Medical School).

With this in mind, we know that ibuprofen and aspirin are a bit like siblings — they're alike in many ways, but different in some ways, too. What if you want to take them both at the same time? Would they be able to coexist and tolerate one another, or would you be better off just taking one?

Mixing ibuprofen and aspirin may increase the risk of side effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that in some situations, ibuprofen may reduce the effectiveness of aspirin. This may seem counterintuitive because they are both used predominantly as pain relievers, but the warning is in reference to the unique benefits aspirin provides for the heart. If your doctor has advised you to take aspirin to promote your heart health, you need to keep in mind that taking ibuprofen at the same time may reduce or cancel out the heart benefits. Using the medicines at the same time will also increase your risk of side effects, such as gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding, according to

This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to throw out all your bottles of ibuprofen if your doctor prescribes regular aspirin. It does mean that you should talk to your doctor about timing the two medicines so that one doesn't interfere with the other, especially if you're using aspirin to promote heart health, according to the FDA.

If you do take the two together, advises contacting your doctor right away if you experience bloating, severe abdominal pain, sudden dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or black, tarry stools.