Taking Advil (Ibuprofen) With Prednisone

Prolonged use should be avoided.

Nov 18, 2018

Sean asked

Can you take Advil with prednisone?

At a glance

  • There is a potential interaction between prednisone and Advil (ibuprofen). Among other things, taking both can increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Speak with your doctor before combining these medications.
  • 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.

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.

Interaction Info

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.

References
  1. Corticosteroids and risk of gastrointestinal bleeding: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PubMed
  2. Medication-Induced Hypokalemia. PubMed
  3. American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. The American Geriatrics Society
  4. Drug Interactions Added to the Beers Criteria. Pharmacy Times

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