Can you get high on ibuprofen?

No, you can’t get high on ibuprofen. But some drugs that are combined with ibuprofen formulas can have euphoric effect. We review the most common prescription drug formulas which combine ibuprofen with other drugs here.

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No, ibuprofen cannot get you high. Instead, ibuprofen is available over the counter and is generally used for minor body pain. We review the pharmacology of ibuprofen here. Plus, we list prescription drugs which can cause euphoric effect are commonly combined with ibuprofen. Please send us your questions in the comment form below!

Ibuprofen for pain relief

Ibuprofen is used as a mild to moderate pain reliever. In over-the-counter versions, ibuprofen can help treat minor pain caused by common complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, the common cold, toothaches, and backaches. In prescription versions, ibuprofen is prescribed to treat osteoathrtitis, rheumatoid arthritis and certain soft tissue disorders associated with pain and inflammation.

How does ibuprofen work?

Ibuprofen works by stopping the body’s production of a substance that causes pain, fever, and inflammation. Specifically, ibuprofen acts by blocking the synthesis of prostaglandin. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis accounts for pain relief and reduced fever. Other mechanisms are thought to contribute to the anti-inflammatory effects of ibuprofen.

Is ibuprofen like prescription pain killers?

No, ibuprofen is not like other prescription pill pain killers.  Instead, ibuprofen is a non-narcotic pain reliever and does not cause ibuprofen addiction. Other prescription drugs contain narcotic agents like opioids and work by blocking your perception of pain in the body. And unlike stronger pain medications such as Tramadol, Vicodin, or OxyContin, ibuprofen DOES NOT bind to opioid receptors in the body. Therefore, ibuprofen DOES NOT bring on an extreme sense of well-being (euphoria) nor is ibuprofen addictive.

Getting high on ibuprofen

Although you cannot get high on ibuprofen, it is possible that combination medicines which contain ibuprofen can cause euphoria or stimulation. The most common medications which cause these effects contain either opioid drugs, diphenhydramine hydrochloride, or pseudoephedrine. Some of the more popular brand names drugs which may produce euphoric effect, when taken for non medical reasons include:

Advil Allergy Sinus                       I + pseudoephedrine

Advil Cold and Sinus                     I + pseudoephedrine

Advil PM                                        I + diphenhydramine

Children’s Advil Allergy Sinus            I + pseudoephedrine

Children’s Advil Cold                       I + pseudoephedrine

Children’s Motrin Cold                     I + hydrocodone

Combunox                                    I + oxycodone

DayQuil Pressure and Pain         I + pseudoephedrine

Dimetapp Sinus                       I + pseudoephedrine

Generic Rx                            I + diphenhydramine

Generic Rx                             I + hydrocodone

Generic Rx                             I + oxycodone

Generic Rx                             I + pseudoephedrine

Ibudone                                       I + hydrocodone

Ibuprohm cold and sinus              I + pseudoephedrine

Motrin PM                                   I + diphenhydramine

Vicoprofen                                   I + hydrocodone

Reprexain                                      I + hydrocodone

Sine-Aid IB                                    I + pseudoephedrine

Can I get addicted to ibuprofen?

No, people who take ibuprofen chronically over time do not develop tolerance for ibuprofen or experience withdrawal when they stop taking the drug. Additionally, because you cannot get high on ibuprofen, you cannot become addicted to ibuprofen. However, long term use of ibuprofen can cause serious medical conditions such as internal bleeding, ulcers, or holes in the digestive system. And ibuprofen should be avoided if you are taking other specific medicines. Ask your doctor about possible drug interactions before you start taking ibuprofen regularly, and always seek help if you have heartburn, bloody stools or are vomiting dark red or black blood.

Questions about ibuprofen use?

Please forward us your questions. If we cannot answer them personally, we can help you find an answer!

Reference sources: Drug info on ibuprofen from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
FDA approved drug products containing ibuprofen
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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