Is It Safe To Drink After Taking Ibuprofen?

Headaches can ruin just about any day. Aside from the expected aching head, headaches can be accompanied by an array of other symptoms that make the experience even worse. Depending on the type, a headache can surface with a fever, weakness, dizziness, even facial swelling (via Cleveland Clinic).

Those symptoms can take a messier turn when they are part of a hangover. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you are suffering from a hangover, you could experience not only a pounding headache but also sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, and mood swings that range from depressive lows to aggressive irritability.

After too much imbibing, some people might take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to ease hangover symptoms. But you might want to think twice about taking ibuprofen before you start drinking if you think that will help take the edge off an impending aching head. If you pop pain meds before alcohol consumption, you might be dealing with side effects worse than a hangover.

You don't want to mix the two

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can be purchased without a prescription in just about any store where health supplies are available (via Mayo Clinic). Even grocery stores generally have a first aid aisle where ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be picked up over the counter. This ease of access leads some people to view ibuprofen as different from prescription medications.

But over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are still medications to be taken seriously. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, misuse of ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal complications and kidney failure. When you add alcohol to the mix, you're at risk for serious health issues. Taking ibuprofen before or after consuming beer, wine, or your favorite cocktail can exacerbate gut irritation and even lead to internal stomach bleeding and ulcers. And ibuprofen combined with alcohol can harm an already hard-working liver (per American Addiction Centers). The National Kidney Association advises against mixing painkillers and alcohol in any way.