Can I Take Aspirin and Ibuprofen Together?

Person holding two pills and a glass of water.

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Your doctor may recommend taking a daily aspirin if you have certain conditions. However, if you would also like to take ibuprofen, a pain reliever under the brand names Motrin and Advil, you may wonder how big the risk is if you take these two medications together.

This article covers if it is safe to mix aspirin and ibuprofen. It will also discuss other considerations when taking more than one medication at a time.

Is It Safe to Take Aspirin and Ibuprofen Together?

Because aspirin is a blood thinner, your doctor may recommend you take it to help with conditions that involve blood clots, which occur when blood clumps together. For example, it may help protect from heart attacks, which occur when blood flow to the heart is blocked. It may also help to safeguard against strokes, which occur when the blood supply to the brain is reduced. Ibuprofen can interfere with the blood-thinning, or anti-clotting, effect of low-dose aspirin.

Consider the following:

  • If you use ibuprofen occasionally, there's a minimal risk that it will interfere with the effect of low-dose aspirin.
  • If you need a single dose of ibuprofen, take it eight hours before or 30 minutes after taking a regular, non-coated and not extended-release, low-dose aspirin.
  • If you need to take ibuprofen more often, talk to your healthcare provider about medication alternatives.

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

Recap

Ibuprofen can interfere with aspirin's blood-thinning effect. However, taking ibuprofen occasionally is considered low-risk. If you are unsure, be sure to speak with your doctor before taking both.

What Happens if You Mix Ibuprofen and a High Dose of Aspirin?

The Food and Drug Administration recommendations for mixing ibuprofen and aspirin only focus on low-dose aspirin.

Ibuprofen's ability to interfere with the blood-thinning effects of coated aspirin or larger doses of aspirin is unknown.

To be on the safe side, always talk to your healthcare provider or your pharmacist, who is a medication expert, before taking any over-the-counter pain medications if you're also using aspirin.

What Happens if You Take Aspirin Daily?​

Healthcare providers sometimes recommend a daily low dose of aspirin to help reduce the risk of certain heart conditions. However, aspirin can lead to side effects in some individuals like stomach upset and certain types of bleeding.

Daily aspirin may be recommended for people who are between the ages of 40 and 70 years old who:

  • Do not currently have heart conditions
  • Aren't at risk for bleeding
  • Are at risk for developing a heart condition in the next 10 years

Can You Take Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen Together?

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, or Tylenol, can be mixed.

In fact, research suggests that taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen together in a mixed formula called Maxigesic, provided better pain relief for those who had oral surgery when compared to using ibuprofen or acetaminophen alone.

Summary

Your doctor may recommend that you take aspirin daily to prevent certain conditions that involve blood clots, like heart attacks or strokes. However, keep in mind that taking ibuprofen, along with your aspirin may interfere with the aspirin's anti-clotting effect.

While aspirin and ibuprofen may not work well together, ibuprofen can be safely taken along with acetaminophen. Before mixing any over-the-counter medications, be sure to check in with your doctor or pharmacist.

6 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. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Concomitant use of ibuprofen and aspirin: potential for attenuation of the antiplatelet effect of aspirin.

  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Concomitant use of ibuprofen and aspirin: potential for attenuation of the antiplatelet effect of aspirin.

  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. American College of Cardiology. Taking aspirin: common questions.

  5. U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease: preventative medication.

  6. 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

By Michael Bihari, MD
Michael Bihari, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician, health educator, and medical writer, and president emeritus of the Community Health Center of Cape Cod.