Compare ibuprofen vs. tramadol

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

Advil (ibuprofen)

Over-the-counter

Ultram (tramadol)

Prescription only
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.

5.5/ 7 average rating with 892 reviewsforibuprofen
Treats moderate to severe pain.

Ultram (tramadol) works well for pain. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.

4.6/ 7 average rating with 642 reviewsfortramadol
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
  • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
  • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
  • Like other opioid pain relievers, Ultram (tramadol) has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death.
  • The extended release version of Ultram (tramadol) should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
  • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
  • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
Lowest price near you
$7.14
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$45.6
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Reviews
892 
88%
think this treatment is worth it
52%
think this treatment works well
4%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?

Leave a review
642 
61%
think this treatment is worth it
40%
think this treatment works well
16%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Advil (ibuprofen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    26%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Constipation
    24%
  • Headache
    18%
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Pruritus
    8%
  • CNS Stimulation
    7%
  • Asthenia
    6%
  • Sweating
    6%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Heart attack and stroke

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Stomach bleeding

    History of stomach bleeding

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Severe allergic reaction

    Asthma

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Kidney damage

    Kidney disease

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)

    Women who want to or can become pregnant

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Breathing problems

    Age 65 or greater

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Addiction, abuse, and overdose

    Taking more than the prescribed dose

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Withdrawal in newborns

    Pregnancy

  • Accidental ingestion

    Children can reach medication

See more detailed risks and warnings