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Can You Take Ibuprofen While on Suboxone?

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Sep 16, 2023

Yes, you can generally take ibuprofen while on Suboxone. But it’s always recommended to talk to your doctor before you take any medication while on Suboxone.

No Known Interactions Between Suboxone & Ibuprofen

There are no known interactions between Suboxone and ibuprofen.[1] This is true for all brand names of ibuprofen, including Advil and Motrin.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug with a completely different mechanism of action than Suboxone. In addition, some pain medications can be sedating and should not be mixed with Suboxone. However, ibuprofen is NOT sedating and is generally very safe to take with Suboxone.

Other Methods of Pain Management

Talk to your physician if you are experiencing headaches, muscle pain, or another discomfort. Together, you can assess the situation and pinpoint potential causes.

They may recommend you try non-medication-based pain relief before using ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever. You may try the following:

  • Gentle massage
  • Sleeping
  • Dimming the lights
  • Drinking more water, ensuring overall hydration
  • Placing a warm or cool compress on the area where you are experiencing pain
  • Meditating
  • Easy movement, such as gentle stretching

If these methods don’t relieve your pain, it may be appropriate to take ibuprofen.

Stick to Prescribed Instructions

If you take ibuprofen, do not exceed the amount instructed on the medication’s labeling information. Don’t take it more frequently or in a higher dose than advised. 

Also, be sure not to exceed the maximum dosage amount for 24 hours.

Which Medication Should You Take First?

If you’re using both ibuprofen and Suboxone, your doctor can help you understand how to do so safely. You might be encouraged to space out your doses for maximum safety.

Typically, people take Suboxone first thing in the morning when their stomachs are empty. Experts recommend waiting at least an hour after using Suboxone to brush your teeth, as the medication could wear away protective enamel.[2]

You can take ibuprofen anytime, but experts recommend eating a small meal or drinking milk to help settle your stomach first.[3] Since you’re not advised to eat or drink right before or after using Suboxone, it might be best to take your Suboxone first, let it settle, and then use ibuprofen. 

Ask your doctor how to use both drugs safely, including how long to wait between doses. 

Keep Your Doctor Informed

Keep your doctor informed of any pain medication you take, including ibuprofen. Since various medicines can interact with Suboxone, your doctor should know about all the solutions you use to help you avoid potential complications.[4]

Sources

  1. Drug Interactions Between Suboxone and Ibuprofen. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/ibuprofen-with-suboxone-1310-0-439-2040.html. Accessed January 2023.
  2. FDA Warns About Dental Problems with Buprenorphine Medicines Dissolved in the Mouth to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Pain. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-warns-about-dental-problems-buprenorphine-medicines-dissolved-mouth-treat-opioid-use-disorder. January 2022. Accessed January 2023.
  3. How and When to Take or Use Ibuprofen. National Health Service. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/ibuprofen-for-adults/how-and-when-to-take-ibuprofen/. Accessed January 2023. 
  4. Drug Interactions of Clinical Importance Among the Opioids, Methadone and Buprenorphine, and Other Frequently Prescribed Medications: A Review. The American Journal on Addictions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3334287/. January–February 2010. Accessed January 2023.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

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