Naproxen and ibuprofen should not be taken together because they treat pain the same way in the body, according to Gina Ryan, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Mercer University, Atlanta. The two drugs also have the same side effects. Naproxen and ibuprofen can be alternated when it is time for the next dose.
Naproxen or ibuprofen can be taken in combination with a drug that works in a different way, such as acetaminophen, Ryan notes. Someone who has additional medical conditions or is unsure about dosage or drug combinations should consult a doctor. People taking pain medication should note that some drugs, such as cold medicines, contain combinations of drugs that may include pain killers.