combining tramadol and ibuprofen

Can tramadol be taken with ibuprofen?

Tramadol and ibuprofen are both popular drugs known for relieving pain. Some people might come across this question “Can tramadol be taken with ibuprofen?”. They might want to know whether it is safe or dangerous to take both medicines at the same time.

Read on to find out if tramadol can be taken with ibuprofen.

What is tramadol?

It is a prescription drug used for quick relief of pain. It is very similar to an opioid and it is classified as a synthetic opioid. Tramadol works on the central nervous system to relieve pain. It is available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. 

Immediate-release drugs are released into the body right away. Extended-release drugs are released into the body slowly over time. It is also used as part of combination therapy. People with severe asthma or breathing problems, stomach pains should not take tramadol.

How does tramadol work?

Tramadol functions by making changes to how your brain senses pain. It is very similar to endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers. They are released by the pituitary gland in response to pain or stress)

Tramadol is similar to endorphins in the sense that both bind to the same receptors. These receptors reduce the pain messages transmitted in your body. And so, tramadol decreases the amount of pain your brain thinks you are experiencing.

Side effects of tramadol

Side effects of tramadol include 

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • drowsiness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • constipation
  • lack of energy

The side effects listed above are all classified as mild cases. Serious side effects and symptoms of tramadol include

  • fast heart rate
  • respiratory depression (with high dose)
  • high blood pressure
  • higher body temperature
  • reflexes that are stronger than normal
  • inability to control your bowel movements
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • agitation
  • hallucinations

How to take tramadol

Taking tramadol depends on certain factors such as age, prior medical conditions, how you react to the first dose, etc. The dosage for tramadol is indicated on the label. However, your pharmacist will show you how to take tramadol in its right doses.

What is ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a drug that is used to relieve pain from various ailments such as headache, menstrual cramps, dental pain, muscle aches, etc. it can also be used to reduce fever and reduce minor symptoms of cold or flu.

How does ibuprofen work?

It belongs to a family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that work by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that result in inflammation. Your body releases prostaglandins when you have an injury.

These hormone-like substances contribute to inflammation, which includes swelling, fever, and increased sensitivity to pain. So, taking ibuprofen reduces swelling, fever and pain.

What are the side effects of ibuprofen?

Like any other drug, ibuprofen has some side effects some of which are common and severe. Let’s take a look at some of the common side effects of ibuprofen. 

  • stomach pain
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • gas
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

Below are some severe side effects of ibuprofen

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Ulcer
  • Bleeding in the stomach and intestine
  • Liver failure
  • Allergic reaction

How to take ibuprofen

Before you take ibuprofen, make sure to read all the directions on the patient leaflet before taking this medication. Your pharmacist can also prescribe a dosage suitable for you.

Can tramadol be taken with ibuprofen?

The answer is yes. Tramadol and ibuprofen can safely be taken the same day. There is no known interaction between them. Make sure to only use them as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. They are both medications meant for pain relief.

What happens if I miss a dose of tramadol?

Once you miss or skip a dose of tramadol, do not use two doses at one time. Make sure to continue with your regular dosage.

What happens if I miss a dose of ibuprofen?

Since ibuprofen is used for pain relief, it will be less likely for you to miss a dose. However, if you do miss or skip a dose, do not use two doses at a time. Just continue with your regular dosage schedule. 

The takeaway from this article

Both drugs are meant for pain relief. There is no known interaction between them and so they can be safely taken provided you only take them as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Chief Editor at

MPSGH, MRPharmS, MPhil.

Isaiah Amoo is a practicing community pharmacist in good standing with the Pharmacy Council of Ghana who has meaningful experience in academia and industrial pharmacy. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, England, UK and currently pursuing his overseas pharmacy assessment programme (MSc) at Aston University, UK. He had his MPhil degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has about 5 years’ experience as a community Pharmacist and has also taught in academic institutions like KNUST, Kumasi Technical University, Royal Ann College of Health, and G-Health Consult. He likes to spend time reading medical research articles and loves sharing his knowledge with others.

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