Compare ibuprofen vs. Naproxen

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

Advil
(ibuprofen)

Aleve
(naproxen)

Relieves pain, fever, and swelling. Advil (ibuprofen) works well for treating fever, inflammation, and a variety of mild to moderate pain conditions, but it doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs.Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Aleve (Naproxen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, and it lasts longer than other NSAIDs.
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Coupons for ibuprofen
Best available price for 90 (800mg) tablets of ibuprofen
Coupons for Naproxen
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of naproxen
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.49ibuprofen
Reviews for ibuprofen
88%
of people (All ages) say ibuprofen is worth it
52%
say it works well
4%
say it's a big hassle
892 reviews
Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Naproxen
78%
+10% better vs. ibuprofen
48%
+4% better vs. ibuprofen
5%
+1% better vs. ibuprofen
978 reviews
Have you used Aleve (naproxen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ibuprofenNaproxen

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

More about ibuprofen side effects »

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

More about Naproxen side effects »
How it works
ibuprofenNaproxen
Advil (ibuprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It stops the inflammation process in your body, which relieves pain, swelling, and fever.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
ibuprofenNaproxen
Over-the-counterPrescription or OTC
Available as
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Delayed release tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ibuprofenNaproxen
Risk factors for serious side effects
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • History of heart problems
  • Taking Advil (ibuprofen) for a long period of time
  • History of stomach bleeding
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or blood thinners
Detailed Advil (ibuprofen) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
Detailed Aleve (naproxen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Food
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
  • It needs to be taken with food or millk to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Advil (ibuprofen) can damage your kidneys. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Talk to your doctor if this worries you, or if you already have kidney damage before you start taking Advil (ibuprofen).
  • 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.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
Pain
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Do not take for more than 10 days for pain relief or more than 3 days for fever. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not go away.
  • Good for relieving pain due to common conditions like menstrual cramps, toothaches, backaches, and sports-related injuries.
  • Starts relieving pain in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Works well to relieve pain, swelling, and fevers.
Upsides and benefits
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is effective for treating fever, pain, and inflammation.
  • Good for relieving pain due to common conditions like menstrual cramps, toothaches, backaches, and sports-related injuries.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is generally safe to use, cheap, and available over-the-counter.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) causes less stomach problems than its alternatives.
  • It comes in different flavored liquid forms that makes it easy for children to take.
  • 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
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Advil (ibuprofen) doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs, so you need to take it a few times a day to get relief of your symptoms.
  • It needs to be taken with food or millk to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is not as safe as other alternatives for pregnant women and people who are age 60 or older.
  • It can cause serious complications like stomach bleeding and kidney problems if taken for a long period of time.
  • Like all NSAIDs, Advil (ibuprofen) can raise your risk of getting blood clots, a heart attack, or stroke.
  • 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
ibuprofenNaproxen
  • Starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
  • Do not take for more than 10 days for pain relief or more than 3 days for fever. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not go away.
  • If you normally take a daily aspirin, make sure to take Advil (ibuprofen) at least 30 minutes after taking aspirin or more than 8 hours before taking aspirin. This will help make sure the aspirin still works in your body.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) increases the risk of stomach bleeding so tell your doctor right away if you experience any bleeding.
  • If you are allergic to aspirin, there is a chance you may be allergic to Advil (ibuprofen) as well.
  • 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 ibuprofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NaproxenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Aleve (naproxen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it