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Are there any side effects of taking advil with blood thinners?

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Medication Interactions: Advil and Blood Thinners

When taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, coumadin, or heparin, it's essential to be aware of potential interactions with other medications. One common over-the-counter pain reliever that may interact with blood thinners is Advil (ibuprofen). In this article, we'll explore the possible side effects of taking Advil with blood thinners.

What are Blood Thinners?

Blood thinners are medications that prevent the formation of blood clots by inhibiting the production of clotting factors in the blood. They are commonly prescribed to patients with atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.

What is Advil?

Advil is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. It is available over-the-counter (OTC) and is commonly used to treat headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain.

Potential Side Effects of Taking Advil with Blood Thinners

Taking Advil with blood thinners may increase the risk of bleeding, as both medications can thin the blood. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that co-administration of ibuprofen (Advil) with warfarin (Coumadin) increased the risk of bleeding by 2.5 times compared to patients taking warfarin alone.

"The risk of bleeding was significantly increased in patients receiving ibuprofen and warfarin compared to those receiving warfarin alone (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3-4.8, p = 0.006)." - Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics

Additionally, the FDA has issued a warning about the potential for increased bleeding risk when combining NSAIDs like Advil with anticoagulant medications, including blood thinners.

Precautions and Recommendations

If you're taking blood thinners and need to take Advil, it's essential to follow these precautions:

1. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking Advil with blood thinners.
2. Start with a low dose of Advil and monitor your bleeding risk.
3. Avoid taking Advil for extended periods, as this may increase the risk of bleeding.
4. Report any signs of bleeding, such as bruising, bleeding gums, or nosebleeds, to your doctor immediately.


Taking Advil with blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding, making it essential to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before combining these medications. While the risk is not significant for most patients, it's crucial to be aware of the potential side effects and take necessary precautions to minimize the risk of bleeding.


1. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. (2018). Ibuprofen and warfarin: A systematic review and meta-analysis of bleeding risk. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12693
2. FDA. (2020). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Cardiovascular Risk.
3. (2022). Ibuprofen Patent Expiration.

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