Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Many of us know that mixing alcohol and any medication has risks. But, can you take Advil and drink alcohol? Are there ibuprofen alcohol interactions? Medications containing ibuprofen have serious side effects. However, mixing alcohol and Advil increases your risk of liver issues and gastrointestinal bleeding. 

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is in a drug class known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are useful in easing pain and inflammation. Advil not only treats these issues, but it also reduces fever. 

Ibuprofen is available over-the-counter under these brands:

  • Addaprin
  • Advil
  • Cedaprin
  • I-Prin
  • Midol
  • Motrin
  • NeoProfen
  • Profen IB
  • Proprinal
  • Ultraprin

Prescription drugs such as Duexis also contain ibuprofen.  Duexis relieves arthritis pain without upsetting your stomach. 

Is it Safe to Take Advil and Drink Alcohol?

Ibuprofen is typically safe as long as you follow the directions. However, the problem with mixing alcohol and Advil is they both irritate the stomach. Also, alcohol increases acid production in your stomach. 

This increase in acid decreases the protection of your digestive tract. As a result, you damage your delicate gastrointestinal tissue. For instance, high doses and long-term use of Advil can cause your stomach to bleed. It also can lead to ulcers. However, drinking alcohol increases this risk. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of dependence and addiction.

Mixing Alcohol and Advil: Stomach Ulcers and Bleeding

Advil irritates your digestive tract. For this reason, doctors tell you to take Advil with food. When you take Advil for a long time or in high doses, it increases your risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding. 

Alcohol also irritates the stomach and digestive tract. Furthermore, mixing alcohol and Advil increases your risk of ulcers and bleeding. However, the risk of ulcers and bleeding increases the longer you drink alcohol and take Advil. 

Alcohol and Ibuprofen Leads to Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Ibuprofen should always be taken with food because it irritates the digestive tract. Ibuprofen is also associated with peptic ulcer disease when overused. The irritation from ibuprofen can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding or perforation. 

Symptoms of severe GI bleeding includes:

  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Bloody vomit
  • Vomit with brown granules like coffee grounds
  • Blood in stools
  • Black or tarry stools

Combining alcohol and ibuprofen increases your risk and severity of GI bleeds. 

Can You Take Advil and Drink Alcohol: Kidney Problems

Your kidneys filter toxic substances from your body. These toxins include alcohol. As a result, the more you drink, the harder your kidneys work. So, when someone asks, can you take Advil and drink alcohol? The answer is no. 

NSAIDs such as Advil affect kidney function. NSAIDs stop the production of a kidney enzyme. By halting this enzyme, Advil can lower your inflammation and pain. However, this also interferes with kidney function. 

The effects of alcohol also put a strain on your kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation states that regular heavy drinking doubles your risk of chronic kidney disease. Although your risk of kidney disease is low if your healthy and occasionally take Advil. But, Advil can be dangerous if you already have kidney issues. 

Symptoms of kidney problems include:

  • A decrease in urine output
  • Retaining fluid in the legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or pressure

Risk of Liver Damage when Combining Alcohol and Advil

Although combining alcohol and Tylenol is more commonly linked to liver damage, so is alcohol and Advil. This damage causes a backflow of bile into the liver. The damage also leads to liver cell damage. 

Symptoms of liver damage include:

  • Extreme weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain on the left side under the ribs
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools

Advil can also lead to developing fatty liver disease. This development is because Advil interferes with fat metabolism in the blood. Moreover, alcohol contributes to fatty liver disease. If you continue combining alcohol and Advil, it can lead to cirrhosis. 

Alcohol and Ibuprofen: Increases Drowsiness

On their own, alcohol and ibuprofen cause drowsiness. However, combining alcohol and ibuprofen intensifies the tiredness. As a result, you can feel extremely sleepy. It can also make it impossible to function normally. If you are drinking alcohol, do not drive. Alcohol slows down your reaction time and impairs coordination. 

Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Advil in Older Adults

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports, older adults risk more complications when mixing alcohol and Advil. The higher risk is because, the older you get, the harder it is to break down alcohol. Also, as you age, you typically take more medications. Therefore, if you drink, you risk more complications from interactions.

Are There Any Ibuprofen Alcohol Interactions?

If your honest, you probably never thought about alcohol and Advil interacting. Furthermore, most of us don’t think about ibuprofen alcohol interaction with other drugs. But, there are many drug interactions with ibuprofen and alcohol. These drugs include:

  • Anticoagulants including Coumadin (warfarin) and Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Oral corticosteroids including prednisone
  • Other NSAIDs including aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), and Celebrex (celecoxib)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors including Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors including Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine)

If you take alcohol and ibuprofen, and any of the above drugs, it can intensify all the substances’ effects. For example, ibuprofen can cause GI bleeding. If you are blood thinners, it can increase the risk of bleeding. Furthermore, alcohol enhances the effects of blood thinners. 

Long-Term Effects of Combining Alcohol and Advil

If you’re like many people, you don’t see a problem with combining alcohol and Advil. But, mixing alcohol and any drug is risky. For instance, it can lead to severe health issues and substance use disorder (SUD). 

Although it’s common in social circles, alcohol is extremely addictive. These risks of consuming alcohol can cause short-term health issues. But the long-term problems can be severe and life-threatening. 

Mixing alcohol and Advil effects include:

  • Increasing sensitivity to alcohol and Advil
  • Developing a dependence on alcohol
  • Risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD)
  • Increase risk of overdose or death

Although many people use ibuprofen to ease joint and muscle pain, it can be dangerous. If you or someone you love regularly mixes alcohol and Advil, it can be a sign AUD. Find out your treatment options through Sana Lake Recovery. 

How Can You Safely Detox from Alcohol?

If you are struggling with alcohol misuse or AUD, you are not alone. Many people fear going through withdrawal when they stop drinking alcohol. Depending on your dependence, withdrawal can be uncomfortable, or it could be life-threatening. However, a medical detox program can help ease the discomfort and risks of withdrawal. 

Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Overly tired
  • Tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Racing heart rate
  • Pale skin

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The most severe withdrawal symptom is delirium tremens or DTs. Generally, 3 to 5 percent of heavy drinkers have DTs in detox. However, DTs can be life-threatening. So, if you or a loved one is having DTs, seek emergency help. 

Symptoms of DTs include:

  • Fever
  • Extreme agitation
  • Seizures
  • Extreme confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure

Because alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, it’s crucial to detox under medical supervision. Medically supervised detox generally provides support and medication to help keep you comfortable. Support is vital to help you work through the mental aspect of withdrawal and to ensure further treatment. 

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Once you have completed detox, you are ready to enter treatment. Centers like Sana Lake Recovery offer a variety of treatment options. You may choose from inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization treatment. 

Inpatient or residential treatment is considered the highest level of care. However, each treatment program provides a high level of care and a structured environment for recovery. Depending on the severity of your AUD and your home environment, among other factors, inpatient treatment may be your best chance at recovery. 

Whether you choose inpatient or one of our outpatient programs, you will typically have access to the same therapy types. Therapies for AUD may include:

  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Medication-Assisted Recovery

Holistic therapies also available at Sana Lake Recovery include:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Nutritional Therapy

Dual Diagnosis and Alcohol Use Disorder

Over 9 million American adults with AUD also struggle with other mental health illnesses. These illnesses include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. If you struggle with AUD and any mental illness (AMI), it’s vital to seek comprehensive co-occurring disorder treatment. 

Common mental illness co-occurring with alcohol use disorder include:

Long-Term Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder

The decision to seek treatment is only the first step in recovery. Alcohol use disorder is a disease. And like other diseases, it requires lifelong treatment. Chronic treatment will vary for each person. However, 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) help maintain recovery and prevent recurrence of use. 

Before completing treatment, you and your therapist will develop a plan to prevent the recurrence of use. This plan will cover possible triggers and dealing with the urges to drink. If you are struggling with any of the following, it’s crucial to reach out to your therapist or sponsor. 

  • Having withdrawal symptoms that won’t stop
  • Being surrounded by enablers
  • Being in a bad relationship
  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling depressed
  • Events that make you want to use

Help for Alcohol Use Disorder at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, it can feel lonely. However, our team of certified professionals will support you on your journey to recovery at Sana Lake. Our traditional and holistic therapy programs offer the best chance of maintaining a life of recovery. Contact us today and find out how.

References:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgh.12805

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mixing-ibuprofen-and-alcohol

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/Harmful_Interactions.pdf

https://www.kidney.org/news/kidneyCare/winter10/AlcoholAffects

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.