Can I Take Aspirin and Ibuprofen Together?

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If your healthcare provider has recommended a daily aspirin but you've seen warnings about mixing aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil), you may wonder how big the risk is, and whether a daily aspirin means you can never take an ibuprofen.

If so, what should you do about a headache or pain from an injury? There's no across-the-board answer. It all depends on a lot of personal factors.

Why Daily Aspirin?​

Healthcare providers sometimes recommended a daily low dose of aspirin (81 mg per day) to help reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin helps prevent them by interfering with your blood’s ability to form dangerous clots.

However, aspirin is not without risk. It can cause stomach upset and bleeding, including:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Stomach
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Bleeding in the brain

Taking daily aspirin is recommended only when the likely benefits greatly outweigh the likely risks for you.

Low-dose aspirin is no longer recommended for healthy older people. Aspirin should also be avoided in anyone under 16 years of age.

Daily aspirin is often recommended for people who:

  • Have had a heart attack or a stroke
  • Have coronary artery disease
  • Have a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next several years

The decision to take daily aspirin must be individualized and always must be discussed with your healthcare provider. It's important to learn more about whether taking a daily aspirin is right for you.

Mixing Aspirin and Ibuprofen

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ibuprofen can interfere with the anti-clotting effect of low-dose aspirin, potentially making aspirin less effective at protecting you from a heart attack or stroke.

The FDA recommends you consider the following:

  • If you use ibuprofen occasionally, there's a minimal risk that it'll interfere with the effect of low-dose aspirin.
  • If you need a single dose of ibuprofen, take it 8 hours before or 30 minutes after taking a regular (not enteric-coated/extended-relief) low-dose aspirin.
  • If you need to take ibuprofen more often, talk to your healthcare provider about medication alternatives. Your healthcare provider may recommend a painkiller that does not interfere with the effect of low-dose aspirin.

Ibuprofen belongs to a class of medications known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). You shouldn't take another NSAID (such as naproxen) without talking to your healthcare provider, since they may also potentially interfere with the effect of low-dose aspirin.

Higher Aspirin Doses

The FDA recommendations are only for regular (also called immediate-release) low-dose aspirin.

Ibuprofen's ability to interfere with the anti-clotting effects of enteric-coated aspirin or larger doses of aspirin (such as a 325 mg adult aspirin) is unknown.

To be on the safe side and prevent an unwanted drug interaction, always talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications if you're using aspirin in any form.

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Unlike aspirin and ibuprofen, which should not be mixed, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (the drug in Tylenol) can be mixed.

In fact, results from one small study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia suggest that taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen together (in a mixed formulation called Maxigesic) provided superior pain relief for people who'd just had oral surgery.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. An Aspirin a Day? Not for All. American College of Cardiology. Published March 2019.

  2. Concomitant Use of Ibuprofen and Aspirin: Potential for Attenuation of the AntiPlatelet Effect of Aspirin. US Food & Drug Administration. 2006.

  3. Angiolillo DJ, Weisman SM. Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Safety of Naproxen. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2017;17(2):97-107.  doi:10.1007/s40256-016-0200-5

  4. Merry AF, Gibbs RD, Edwards J, et al. Combined acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain relief after oral surgery in adults: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Anaesth. 2010;104(1):80-8.  doi:10.1093/bja/aep338

Additional Reading
  • Borazan NH, Furst DE. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, Nonopioid Analgesics, & Drugs Used in Gout. In: Katzung BG, Trevor AJ. eds. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 13e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2015.
  • Merry AF, Gibbs RD, Edwards J, et al. Combined acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain relief after oral surgery in adults: a randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2010 Jan; 104 (1): 80-88.