Compare ibuprofen vs. Tramadol

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

Advil
(ibuprofen)

Ultram
(tramadol)

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.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.
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.
Coupons for ibuprofen
Best available price for 90 (800mg) tablets of ibuprofen
Coupons for Tramadol
Best available price for 120 (50mg) tablets of tramadol
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 Tramadol
61%
+27% better vs. ibuprofen
40%
+12% better vs. ibuprofen
16%
+12% better vs. ibuprofen
642 reviews
Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ibuprofenTramadol

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

More about ibuprofen side effects »
  • Dizziness 26%
  • Constipation 24%
  • Nausea 24%
  • Headache 18%
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Itching 8%
  • Cns stimulation 7%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Sweating 6%
More Tramadol side effects »
How it works
ibuprofenTramadol
Advil (ibuprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It stops the inflammation process in your body, which relieves pain, swelling, and fever.Ultram (tramadol) is an opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.
Type of medication
ibuprofenTramadol
Over-the-counterPrescription only
Available as
ibuprofenTramadol
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
ibuprofenTramadol
Risk factors for serious side effects
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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 »
  • Pregnancy
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Overdose
  • Using alcohol, benzodiazepines or other medicines that slow breathing
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
Detailed Ultram (tramadol) 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.

Interactions
ibuprofenTramadol
No interactions related info.
  • Ultram (tramadol) can interact with your other medicines, which can change how it affects your pain. Stopping these medicines while taking Ultram (tramadol) can make you more likely to have serious, life threatening side effects. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know all the medicines you're taking, and let them know of any changes.
Food
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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 Ultram (tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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).
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
Pain
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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 and risks
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ibuprofenTramadol
  • 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 working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Take Ultram (tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
  • Take the extended-release tablets exactly as your doctor and pharmacist tell you. If you forget, take it as soon as you remember. Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Learn more
More about ibuprofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it