Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: ibuprofen | other | drugs

Can I Take Ibuprofen With Other Drugs?

Thursday, 14 Nov 2013 05:28 PM

Question: I have inflammatory arthritis and for the two years I have been taking 800 milligrams of ibuprofen every day. I also take prednisone (7.5 milligrams) and methotrexate (2.5 milligrams). Is it OK for me to continue taking the ibuprofen?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
You are taking medications, whose side effects are significantly increased when ibuprofen is added. It is generally wise to avoid combining ibuprofen to these agents unless recommended by your prescribing physician. Also, you are taking higher doses than is usually recommended for daily use, so you should be under a doctor's supervision.
 
You mention that you have inflammatory arthritis, but without knowing your precise diagnosis, I can't know what your treatment plans and goals are. Do you have psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease, or do you have arthritis of one type or another?

Also, I hope you are not on a daily prednisone regimen, as side effects with daily prednisone use escalate tremendously when used continuously for over 10 to 14 days. The whole idea of using low-dose methotrexate is so you can avoid using prednisone on a daily basis. If given the choice of prednisone or ibuprofen daily, I would almost always choose ibuprofen given the escalating risks of osteoporosis and sometimes devastating metabolic disturbances seen with long-term prednisone use.
 
One way reduce the harsh side effects of prednisone is to take it every other day, or perhaps 2 to 3 times a week. You need to set up a consultation with your rheumatologist to discuss the short-term and long-term goals of your treatment, and the relative safety of treatment options available to you. You may also find that there are other newer options you can take that are better, safer alternatives.

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Ibuprofen can cause side effects when taken with some medications.
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