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Ibuprofen Neutralizes Blood-Thinning Effect of Aspirin

Patients suffering from both arthritis and cardiovascular disease commonly take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, for controlling their arthritis pain and low-dose aspirin concurrently for their cardiovascular disease.

Aspirin can reduce blood clotting, and when taken daily has demonstrated the ability to potentially reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

A study in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine addressed the possible inhibitory effects of combining aspirin with other pain/inflammation drugs. The people studied were divided into three groups and were administered aspirin in combination with ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin), acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), or rofecoxib (e.g., Vioxx), with all medications given at standard dosages.

Subjects who took aspirin before ibuprofen inhibited the blood-thinning effects of aspirin by 90%; when ibuprofen was taken first, this blood-thinning ability of aspirin was reduced by 98%. No conflict was observed between aspirin and the other two drugs, however.

Regularly used analgesics like ibuprofen may eliminate the "cardioprotective" effects of daily low-dose aspirin. If you take aspirin to help prevent a potential heart attack, be sure not to combine it with other pain-killing drugs. Seek alternative methods to relieve chronic pain, such as chiropractic adjustments, regular physical activity, and proper nutrition.


Catella-Lawson F, Reilly MP, Kapoor SC, et al. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors and the antiplatelet effects of aspirin. The New England Journal of Medicine 2001:345(25), pp. 1809-1817.

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