Ibuprofen may slightly raise your blood pressure when taken consistently over a long period.
If you have heart or blood pressure conditions, check with your medical professional before taking ibuprofen.
There are several medications and natural alternatives for treating mild to moderate pain and fevers.
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that treats pain, inflammation, and fever. It’s a common medication that many people take regularly. However, there are some risks associated with ibuprofen, including the possibility of increased blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure and are taking ibuprofen, it’s important to be aware of these risks and talk to your healthcare professional about alternatives.
This article describes how ibuprofen affects blood pressure, whether it’s safe to take with high blood pressure, and alternatives for managing pain and fever.
NSAIDs and Blood Pressure
NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are a type of medication that helps reduce inflammation. This can be helpful for conditions such as:
- Mild to moderate pain
- Menstrual cramps
NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that contribute to inflammation.
Ibuprofen is a common NSAID used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever. Although ibuprofen is generally safe, it does have some risks associated with long-term use. Ibuprofen is available over the counter and does not require a prescription.
How Does Ibuprofen Affect Blood Pressure?
Several research studies have found that ibuprofen can raise a person’s blood pressure slightly.
A study published in American Family Physician noted that when measuring blood pressure after taking ibuprofen, the top number— the systolic blood pressure (SBP— increased by an average of 5 mmHg.
Another study published in European Heart Journal compared the changes in blood pressure after taking ibuprofen, celecoxib, and naproxen. The study consisted of over 400 people and lasted four months. It found that ibuprofen raised the SBP by about 4 mmHg compared to other medications. In addition, one in four people who took ibuprofen daily for four months developed hypertension.
Does Ibuprofen Raise Blood Pressure?
While the exact mechanism is unknown, ibuprofen can raise systolic blood pressure by several degrees—though this is rare and typically only occurs in people who take ibuprofen consistently.
What Are the Risks of Taking Ibuprofen with High Blood Pressure?
It’s essential to understand the risks associated with ibuprofen before you start taking it. As mentioned, ibuprofen may elevate your blood pressure. If you have hypertension, you may want to avoid this medication.
Other risks associated with taking ibuprofen include:
- Stomach ulcers
- Irritating the stomach lining
- Kidney damage
People who regularly take ibuprofen are also at higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Is it Safe to Take Ibuprofen if I Have High Blood Pressure?
While it may be relatively safe for people with high blood pressure to take ibuprofen for short-term relief, it is best to discuss it with your medical provider first. They may suggest other options for pain relief or give you directions for monitoring your blood pressure.
Tips for Taking Ibuprofen with High Blood Pressure
Here are a few tips for taking ibuprofen safely:
- Make sure you take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen.
- Get regular blood pressure checks to monitor your levels.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about any other medications or supplements you may be taking, as some can interact with ibuprofen and raise blood pressure.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Several natural and medical alternatives to ibuprofen can treat pain, inflammation, and fever.
Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen
Natural alternatives to ibuprofen include natural substances that decrease inflammation.
- Fish oil supplements
- White willow bark
- Green tea
- Ice for inflammation of muscles or joints
These natural remedies may not work as quickly as ibuprofen, but they’re often safer and have fewer side effects.
Medical Alternatives to Ibuprofen
If you are looking for a medication alternative to ibuprofen, your medical provider may suggest:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
These medications work differently than ibuprofen and may be a better option for people with high blood pressure.
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Frequently Asked Questions
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Differential blood pressure effects of ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib in patients with arthritis: The PRECISION-ABPM (prospective randomized evaluation of celecoxib integrated safety versus ibuprofen or naproxen ambulatory blood pressure measurement) trial. (2017.)
NSAID prescribing precautions. (2009.)
Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. (2010.)