Compare Aspirin vs. Naproxen

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Aspirin

Aleve
(Naproxen)

Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Protects your heart and thins blood. A low dose of Aspirin (81mg) every day can protect your heart, but it's not the best medicine to take for pain, swelling, or fever.Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Aleve (Naproxen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, and it lasts longer than other NSAIDs.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.152255639097745Aspirin
Reviews for Aspirin
76%
of people say Aspirin is worth it
41%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Aleve (Naproxen)
78%
+2% vs. Aspirin
46%
+5% vs. Aspirin
5%
+1% vs. Aspirin
Side effects
AspirinNaproxen

We haven’t found good data for Aspirin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Aspirin »

The Naproxen FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Naproxen side effects »
How it works
AspirinNaproxen
Aspirin is a salicylate and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain. It also prevents blood platelets from forming clots, which thins your blood.Aleve (Naproxen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain.
Type of medication
AspirinNaproxen
Pain reliever
Salicylate
Anticoagulant
Anti-platelet
Over-the-counter
Pain reliever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Prescription or OTC
Available as
AspirinNaproxen
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Delayed release tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
AspirinNaproxen
Risk factors for serious side effects
AspirinNaproxen
  • Children 18 years or younger
  • Children recovering from viral infections
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 60 years or older
  • Taking Aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Aspirin risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 60 years or older
  • Taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Hemophilia
  • von Willebrand's disease
  • Low blood platelet count
  • Taking anticoagulant medications
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking high blood pressure medications
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Aleve (Naproxen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
AspirinNaproxen
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
  • Aleve (Naproxen) is an NSAID that can lower kidney function or cause damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Your doctor should check your kidney function if you take Aleve (Naproxen) for any amount of time.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
AspirinNaproxen
  • When taking low doses (81 mg) every day, Aspirin provides protection for your heart and prevents heart attacks and stroke.
  • Used in higher doses to relieve pain, swelling, and fever.
  • Available over-the-counter in drugstores by itself and in combination with other cold and flu medications.
  • Works well to relieve pain, swelling, and fevers.
  • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
  • Lasts longer than Ibuprofen, so you can take it less often.
  • Aleve (Naproxen) works as well as Aspirin and Indomethacin to treat arthritis pain, and causes fewer stomach problems.
  • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
Downsides and risks
AspirinNaproxen
  • Not a preferred medication for treating pain, swelling, or fever due to its high risk of bleeding.
  • NSAIDs (like ibuprofen and naproxen) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are better for treating pain and fever thank Aspirin.
  • Aspirin raises your risk of bleeding, especially when used with other blood thinner medications like warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Studies show that using higher doses of Aspirin (162 mg or more) every day raises your risk of stomach bleeding and doesn't provide any additional heart protection.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Can't be taken by pregnant women.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Like all NSAIDs, it can raise your risk of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AspirinNaproxen
  • Using low doses (81mg) of Aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, but it isn't good for everyone. Only take Aspirin daily if your doctor recommends it.
  • Higher Aspirin doses can be used to treat occasional pain, swelling, and fever. Using ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead can lower your risk of serious bleeding.
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Don't use for kids younger than 18 years old.
  • Stop taking this right away and tell your doctor if you have ringing in your ears, unusual bleeding, or nausea or vomiting that doesn't go away.
  • Starts relieving pain in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Can make you bruise or bleed more easily and it can also cause stomach ulcers.
  • Don't take it with other blood thinners, like aspirin, unless your doctor tells you it's safe.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
Learn more
More about AspirinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about NaproxenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert