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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  1. I have been taking ibuprofen 800mg my stomach has been burning I took some pepcip 3 times a day of ibuprofen 800mg every time I am hurting when I eat food what should l take,
    It hurts in my stomach’and Around my belly

  2. My husband use to be addicted to pain killers and has been sober for 9 years. But takes Advil gel caps everyday for the past 6 years. I wonder if he does this in replace of the pain killers.

    1. Hi Esmeralda. Advil is not habit forming, and it does not demonstrate addictive properties. Maybe, he uses it as a security blanket.

  3. I have use heroin snorted it but I’m having very bad back pain can I still take ibuprofen for the pain an not OD please help me thank you

    1. Hi Ed. Before taking anything, consult with a doctor. However, ibuprofen is available as over-the-counter medication and is generally used for minor body pain.

  4. I am 39 years old and healthy. I take no drugs recreationally nor Rx.
    I have to disagree with the findings of this article.
    Whenever I take ibuprofen or Tylenol, I get high on it. I get a head high as well as a body high. I may as well have smoked a joint! I don’t find myself seeking it out or when I have had to take a few doses I don’t feel withdrawal or any addictive type behaviors.
    People think I’m insane, but honestly, I get high on it.
    I rarely take it, even for really bad headaches or body aches, as I am a mom of two who needs to be on her toes with the young ones.
    Just thought I’d throw my experience in here.

  5. My husband has a addictive personalitie and has told me he is taking ibuprofen daily I’ve just been to his work and he seems high and his mouth is very dry He has told me he has taken 12 ibuprofen for back pain and he showed me the packet. 200 mg
    He has been unable to do his routine activities because of this. Is this about right and what would the side effects be

  6. Common since will tell you ibuprofen won’t get you high for God sakes it’s over the counter and you don’t need I’d to get it I don’t know thow everybody’s different but I highly doubt it will

    1. Hi, Brittany. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! The text says exactly that. So, we also agree with your standpoint – you can’t get high on ibuprofen.

  7. My boyfriend takes an extendable amount of Advil, ibuprofen he’s a past heroin and meth user, could he be using again and takes pills to avoid the aches and pain of withdrawals?

    1. Hi Concepcion. I really cannot tell if he is or not. You could ask him directly or have him drug-tested unexpectedly to learn the truth.

  8. Kaytee i honestly can’t believe your claiming ibuprofen to be addicting. I thought it was hard to convince people physiological addiction to diphenhydramine.

    That is simply not true. And “only advil gets rid of it” that does not sound right to me. There are many many drugs that can help you with headaches. The only dangers are overdose thats all

  9. You are mistaken.Ibuprofen is definitely addicting.Certainly not opoid.Many doctors will tell you”you have an addiction to ibuprofen.”
    if you have lots of headaches and “ONLY ADVIL gets rid of it.” or “only generic ibuprofen and not Advil gets rid of it”
    The ibuprofen you take too much of -is causing headaches when you don’t take it.(or some added chemical ingredient is)

  10. Hi Tom – Thanks for your comment. Yes, you did read the article wrong. The article reads that opioids, diphenhydramine, or pseudoephedrine can be the cause of euphoric effect when combined with ibuprofen. The relation here is their ability to create euphoria in some people, and the fact that they are sometimes combined with ibuprofen. Not that opioids = diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

  11. Joyce, your daughter went through withdrawal from the tramadol, not the over the counter meds they provide no withdrawal at all. And I may have read it wrong, but this article said something about diphenhydramine hcl being an opiod which is laughably wrong. Diphenhydramine is Benadryl , not even close to an opiod.

  12. You are welcome. Also, get some help and support for yourself! Have you heard about Al-Anon? Can you also see a counselor to help you deal with the many emotions and thoughts that come with having someone close to you, someone that you love, go through addiction recovery?

  13. Hello Joyce. While there is no information to indicate that abuse or dependency occurs with Ibuprofen and Pseudoephedrine Sulfate alone, Pseudoephedrine is one ingredient used for making methamphetamine in clandestine home laboratories. I’d suggest that you seek professional addiction help for the whole family, as it seems that you still don’t trust your daughter (a good idea, BTW, to be cautious) and you need to address the possibility of crystal meth use.

  14. My daughter became addicted to Tramadol and combined it with Advil PM. She suffered two seizures as a result and almost lost her life. She went through a terrible withdrawl and, hopefully, has not used in the last month. However, I am finding large quantities of empty Children’s Ibuprofen and Pseudoephedrine Sulfate. Is this a sign that she has replaced on addiction for another?

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