Is it safe to take hydrocodone/acetimophen and ibuprofen?
January 25, 2017 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Had an inguinal hernia surgery this morning. The doctor prescribed hydrocodone/acetimophen combo as well as ibuprofen 600mg. Well long story short ibuprofen sucks so bad for me that I usually just don't even bother taking it for muscle strains let alone surgery. My dad meaning well just gave me one though. My first dose of the hydrocodone is about 5 hours in and fading. My balls hurt and quite frankly i wish I had a time machine and never had the surgery. Is it safe to take both?

See above
posted by mamamia88 to Health & Fitness (19 answers total)
It's safe to take 600 mg of ibuprofen with the hydrocodone/acetaminophen combo, which what you are saying your doctor prescribed.

Not sure what you mean by saying that ibuprofen "sucks so bad" for you, though. If you have averse reactions in to ibuprofen normally, rather than it just not working, you might want to avoid. However, if you don't have averse reactions to 600 mg ibuprofen normally, you can take it as your doctor prescribed it. It might work better with the other pill than ibuprofen alone.

Feel better!
posted by Stewriffic at 1:52 PM on January 25, 2017

Generally, yes. Just be careful not to take any additional acetaminophen, as it is relatively easy to exceed safe dosages when you are taking combo painkillers.
posted by praemunire at 1:53 PM on January 25, 2017

yeah the thing you want to avoid is taking extra tylenol in addition to the vicodin, because of the toxicity of extremely high doses, and because when you are on vicodin you might forget having taken more.

i personally would just take another vicodin as soon as the pain starts up again, 6-8 hour dosing schedule be damned.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

OP: You didn't say "vicodin," but that's a common name-brand hydrocodone/acetaminophen combo. I took another brand (Norco) post-surgery a few years ago.

Stay on top of it, and take it as often as prescribed. I also took horse-pill-sized ibuprofen with it; I suspect this is a common cocktail for post-surgical recovery because they all address pain differently. The ibuprofen is in particular good for inflammation.
posted by uberchet at 2:02 PM on January 25, 2017

Well it's on the other side of the house and I feel like getting up as little as possible so I doubt I'll take too much
posted by mamamia88 at 2:03 PM on January 25, 2017

Yes, you can take ibuprofen and acetaminophen at the same time, and it is fairly commonly prescribed as such, at least among surgeons I and my friends and family have seen. I would strongly repeat the advice above about not taking any additional acetaminophen due to the potential for liver toxicity.
posted by bedhead at 2:12 PM on January 25, 2017

Fair enough thanks.
posted by mamamia88 at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2017

Often the recommendation is to alternate between the two about every 3 hours - keeps some level of pain killer in your bloodstream at all times. The combination of the two either alternating or together will do more than one alone. Also if you were told to ice do so! Am alternating tylenol and ibuprofin myself post dental stuff right now.
posted by leslies at 4:20 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I find I get very nasty stomach pains if I take ibuprofen without eating a reasonable meal immediately before. So with recent hysterectomy, I alternated between paracetamol and ibuprofen (doctors orders) aligning the ibuprofen doses with my meals. I found that liquid (milk, soup) did not count as a meal for the purpose of preventing stomach pain.
posted by b33j at 4:44 PM on January 25, 2017

I have some voltaren gel. Would that help instead of ibuprofen?
posted by mamamia88 at 4:51 PM on January 25, 2017

As others have said, this is a commonly prescribed combination - also, after my c-section, I quickly found out that it was the ibuprofen that was helping much more than the opiate. And take with something more substantial than a drink (even milk) if it bothers your stomach (I don't need to, I've never had stomach problems with NSAIDS).
posted by Pax at 5:16 PM on January 25, 2017

I was told, by my doctor, that one is processed through the liver and one through the kidneys and that they work better in combination than alone.
posted by BoscosMom at 5:36 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is exactly the kind of question you should ask the pharmacist when you fill prescriptions.
posted by jesourie at 6:14 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that wasn't very helpful. Yes, it is safe to take hydrocodone/acetaminophen and ibuprofen together. Don't exceed recommended dosages, and like folks say above, don't take any additional acetaminophen (AKA Tylenol). Never take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in a 24 hour period. Ideally stay closer to 3,000 mg.

And please do ask to speak to a pharmacist when you're beginning a new prescription regimen. They are the best possible source of information about medication interactions, side effects, and scheduling for best pain relief.

I am a nurse, not a pharmacist, and this is not medical advice. Address any and all questions to your doctor or pharmacist.
posted by jesourie at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do not put voltaren on your incision site.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:20 PM on January 25, 2017

If you find ibuprofen doesn't always work for you, try taking it with food. I've found that that makes a huge difference in how effectively I feel the results. May just be a placebo effect, I can't find anything online to back it up, but I swear by it.
posted by Mchelly at 3:53 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

(Not your question, I realize, but if you've not taken hydrocodone before, opioids tend to cause constipation. You can save yourself additional discomfort by starting now on a laxative that is NOT Metamucil. )
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:14 AM on January 26, 2017

Seconding eating food with the ibuprofen--you need something with fat: cheese, yogurt with fat, something substantive. It helps with any stomach pain and I've also found it speeds relief. I think the food gets your body digesting the ibuprofen faster.
posted by purple_bird at 10:16 AM on January 26, 2017

oh lord definitely don't put voltaren on your junk
posted by poffin boffin at 9:23 PM on January 26, 2017

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