Interactions with other medicines 

When two or more medicines are taken at the same time, the effects of one medicine can be altered by the other.

This is known as a drug-drug interaction. In some cases, it may not be safe to take one medicine with another because of this interaction.

Ibuprofen, including ibuprofen products applied to the skin (such as gels), can interact with the following medicines:

  • aspirin  an antiplatelet medicine used to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke 
  • ciclosporin  used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • colestyramine  used to treat itching
  • fluconazole  used to treat certain types of fungal infections
  • lithium  used to treat depression, mania, bipolar disorder, self-harming and aggressive behaviour
  • methotrexate  used to treat some types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
  • mifepristone  used to terminate pregnancy
  • tacrolimus  used to prevent organ rejection during organ transplants
  • voriconazole  used to treat fungal infections, such as aspergillosis (a range of infections that are caused by a fungal mould called aspergillus)
  • warfarin  an anticoagulant medicine, used to stop the blood from clotting
  • zidovudine  used to treat HIV

Ibuprofen can also interact with ginkgo biloba, a controversial dietary supplement some people claim can treat memory problems and dementia.

To check that your medicines are safe to take with ibuprofen, you can:

  • ask your GP or local pharmacist
  • read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine
  • check the medicines information tab at the top of this page

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Ibuprofen is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). These have many interactions with other medicines, including:

Do not take more than one type of NSAID at a time or you will have an increased risk of developing side effects.

Read more information about medicines that interact with NSAIDs.

Food and alcohol

There are no known interactions between ibuprofen and food. Taking ibuprofen with or after food will help reduce any irritation to the stomach.

There are also no known interactions with ibuprofen and moderate alcohol intake. However, the risk of bleeding in the stomach is higher in people who take ibuprofen and drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

Page last reviewed: 08/07/2014

Next review due: 08/07/2016