Consuming a vitamin-rich diet or taking vitamin supplements is a key strategy to maintain your health. B vitamins in particular are important for many of your body's functions. At some time you may experience an inflammatory condition such as arthritis, necessitating your taking ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug. Taking ibuprofen along with vitamin B supplements is not harmful and may actually diminish side effects sometimes caused by consuming one of the B vitamins, niacin. Nevertheless, discuss combining ibuprofen and one or more of the B vitamins with your doctor to decide what is appropriate for you.
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Ibuprofen is a medication that belongs to a class called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is sold over the counter under a number of different brand names. Ibuprofen lowers levels of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or COX, that converts an intermediary compound into prostaglandin H. Prostaglandin H is a hormone responsible for several mechanisms leading to pain, inflammation and fever. It also increases levels of another compound called thromboxane that tends to cause aggregation of platelets.
By blocking activity of COX, ibuprofen reduces inflammation caused by headache, toothache, arthritis, minor sprains or muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. It also helps lower your risk of blood clots that can cause serious cardiovascular problems such as coronary artery disease and stroke. Generally considered a safe medication, ibuprofen may cause gastrointestinal symptoms in some people. These include minor problems such as gastric discomfort and bloating, as well as rare incidences of gastric ulcers or bleeding.
Vitamin B is actually not a single vitamin but a group of compounds commonly referred to as vitamin B complex. The complex includes vitamins B-1, or thiamine; B-3, or niacin; B-5, or pantothenic acid; B-7, or biotin; B-2, or riboflavin; B-9, or folic acid; and B-12, or cobalamin. B vitamins support enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions, help your body manufacture energy from food, support production of important hormones, stimulate production of red blood cells and maintain the integrity of DNA. Several B vitamins, including B-5 and B-12, are particularly critical for development of the nervous system.
Ibuprofen and the B Vitamins
There are no negative interactions between any of the B vitamins and drugs such as ibuprofen, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, although the drug may slow absorption of vitamin B-9. In addition, if you take vitamin B-3, you may experience side effects that include flushing of your skin; a feeling of warmth on your face, neck and ears; and itchy, dry skin. MayoClinic.com recommends taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen to counteract these side effects. Talk to your doctor to discuss taking ibuprofen with any or all of the B vitamins before combining these compounds as part of your regimen.