Amitriptyline is an antidepressant drug used widely for the treatment of mood-related disorders. This drug helps elevate your feelings and moods. It is categorized under a class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants. On the other hand, ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen is used for treating pains, inflammation as well as fever. Intake of pain killers like ibuprofen along with antidepressants may cause a few side effects. It is important to understand the likely side effects and other possible adverse reactions.

Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline help restore the right balance among naturally occurring substances like serotonin. The medicine is likely to cause discomforts like dizziness, dryness of mouth and can make your feel drowsy. You may also experience an inexplicable increase in bodyweight, blurring of eyesight and difficulties to pass stools – i.e., constipation. Hence, the initial doses of amitriptyline are administered at very low dosages; once your body gets used to the active ingredients of this drug, the dosage levels are gradually increased.

What happens when you take ibuprofen with amitriptyline?

Intake of a few drugs with amitriptyline is likely to cause a few adverse side effects. Such drugs include supplements taken for thyroid (among people living with hypothyroid conditions), blood thinning drugs like warfarin as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Most of the NSAIDs may include drowsiness-causing agents. As drowsiness and dizziness are common side effects of amitriptyline, co-administration of NSAIDs can only worsen the levels of dizziness.

Talk to your physician about how to manage excessive levels of drowsiness. You are advised to shift positions in a slow manner. For example, if you are getting up from a sleeping posture, it is important to do it gradually. It is equally essential not to engage in activities that may require a high level of concentration. It is not a good practice to engage in activities such as driving, operating heavy machinery and other tasks needing greater level of coordination.


A few other discomforts and side effects associated with co-administration

Other possible side effects associated with consuming ibuprofen with amitriptyline are turning hypersensitive to heat, problems faced while urination, erratic heartbeats, lapses of memory, being in a confused state of mind, etc. It is a safe practice to discontinue or limit the intake of alcohol or other forms of intoxicants. As elderly people are more likely to get affected by these side effects, it is highly recommended to avoid co-administering these two drugs. Those who are vulnerable to risks of dehydration can suck onto ice cubes or sugarless candies. It is also a safe practice to drink a lot of fluids or use saliva. A few elders are more likely to develop constipation or problems while passing stools. It is recommended to take foods rich with fiber as well as pursue regular workouts or exercises.  In case of an acute spell of constipation, your doctor may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners. Though laxatives are also available through over the counter (OTC) route, it is essential to talk to your treating doctor before taking such meds.

Always remember that it is important to inform your treating doctor about all the drugs you are currently taking. It is a safe practice to share details about other treatment plans presently pursued. Your physician will advise to make a list of all meds you are taking regularly. While making this list, it is essential to add all forms of drugs including over the counter drugs, prescription medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, dietary aids, etc. A few decongestants (nasal) and cough relievers may also contain sleep inducing or drowsiness causing chemicals. Intake of these drugs along with amitriptyline can lead to severe episodes of dizziness. So, it is strongly recommended to include meds taken to treat cough and common cold in the aforesaid list of medications.

When to take medical help?

The side effects may go away after a few doses. It may take a few days for the adverse side effects to disappear. If these discomforts persist for long, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor. You also need to remember that your doctor has prescribed a few drugs because their benefits are comparatively more than the risks involved.

You are advised to talk to your treating physician or the pharmacist as quickly as possible if you witness a few acute side effects. These include continued episodes of heartburns, pain in your lower abdomen, acute pains in the stomach, sizable drop in libido or loss of interest in sex, tremors / shakes, enlargement of breasts, muscular spasms or pains.

Some people may develop serious allergic reactions like extreme spells of dizziness, partial blindness / blurring of eyesight or seeing multiple colors during night hours, discoloration of stool, swelling of eyes, dilation of pupils, etc. In all such instances, you need to take medical help on an urgent mode. People living in the US can call 911 immediately or can also reach out to an emergency helpline of the food and drug administration (FDA). People who are residents of any of the Canadian provinces may either call Health Canada or establish contact with a poison control center near your home. Ensure to take such help at the quickest possible time as a delay in seeking medical attention in a timely manner can lead to other serious consequences.

However, such acute side effects are very rare. In equally rare instances, a very small percentage of users experienced some allergies. Adverse reactions like hives, rashes, inflammation of lips, soreness of throat along with internal swelling, inflammation of facial organs such as nose, eyes or oral organs like tongue are witnessed in very uncommon cases. In one-off instances, a few users experienced breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath, slow down of breathing cycles, gasping, etc. Upon witnessing one or more of these allergic reactions, it is very important to take medical help with no further delay.

In sum, co-administering ibuprofen along with amitriptyline may make you more sensitive to heat and can lead to erratic heartbeats, memory lapses and confusion. Older people are more vulnerable to risks of constipation, dehydration and extreme spells of dizziness. If you experience persistent spells of constipation, your physician may recommend the use of laxatives. It is important not to take laxatives over a longer term; this is because of the risks of formation of habits. If side effects such as erratic heartbeats or eyesight-related problems are known to persist for long, you need to contact 911 or a poison control center located closer to where you live.

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