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Answer Interaction

Taking Advil (Ibuprofen) With Prednisone

Prolonged use should be avoided.

Question

Can you take Advil with prednisone?

Asked by Sean On Nov 18, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Nov 19, 2018

Answer

There is an interaction between Advil (ibuprofen) and prednisone.

Use together can increase the risk of adverse GI effects and alter electrolyte/fluid balance.

Additionally, Advil can mask symptoms of infection, which you could be at an increased risk of while taking prednisone.

Short-term use of both is fairly common, and can be used in certain situations.

However, prolonged use should be avoided as this increases the risk of adverse reactions (as mentioned above)

If you are taking prednisone, be sure to ask your doctor if Advil is appropriate for you in your medical situation.

Section Summary
There is a potential interaction between prednisone and Advil (ibuprofen). Speak with your doctor before combining these medications.

Interaction

Prednisone is a corticosteroid while Advil (ibuprofen) is classified as a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

Multiple studies have shown that concomitant use of corticosteroids (like prednisone) and NSAIDs can have a variety of adverse effects, including:

  • Increased risk of adverse GI events (e.g. nausea, cramping, ulceration).
  • Altered sodium/potassium electrolytes and fluid balance.

If prednisone and Advil are used together for extended period of time, it is sometimes recommended to periodically monitor potassium levels in the body as hypokalemia (low potassium) has commonly been reported. 

It is important to note that prednisone can weaken the immune system, especially with high doses or long term use. NSAIDs, like Advil, can mask fever, pain, swelling and other signs and symptoms of an infection. The issue is that a potential infection may not be appropriately treated.

Lastly, the Beers criteria recommends that the combination of NSAIDs and corticosteroids be avoided. If the combination is necessary and cannot be avoided, it is recommend to also use some sort of gastrointestinal protection.

As stated previously, short term use of both medications has been used safely, but they should only be used together if recommended by your doctor.

Section Summary
The combination of NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) and corticosteroids (like prednisone) can increase the risk of several side effects. Short-term use may be recommended by your doctor, but prolonged use should generally be avoided.

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