Compare ibuprofen vs. Indocin

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

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Advil (ibuprofen)

Over-the-counter

Indocin (indomethacin)

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.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 892 reviewsforibuprofen
Treats pain and swelling.

Indocin (indomethacin) works well for mild to moderate pain and swelling, but it shouldn't be used long-term since it has some serious side effects.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 26 reviewsforIndocin
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.
  • Effective option to relieve mild to moderate pain and swelling.
  • Treats inflammation problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and acute gout attacks.
  • In studies, Indocin (indomethacin) was more effective than Tylenol for treating osteoarthritis pain.
  • It works as well as Celebrex for treating an acute gout attacks.
  • Available in capsules, long-acting capsules, suppositories, and as a suspension. All forms, except the suspension, are available as generic medications.
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.
  • Indocin (indomethacin) can cause serious heart and stomach problems. The risk goes up the longer you take it, but problems can happen at any time. Don't take Indocin (indomethacin) any longer than your doctor recommends.
  • Indocin (indomethacin) raises your risk of bleeding, especially when taken with other blood-thinning medicines.
  • There are similar medicines that you don't have to take as often and can work just as well.
  • Not a good choice if you have kidney, liver, or stomach problems.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
892 reviews so far
88%
saidit'sworth it
52%
saiditworked well
4%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?

Leave a review
26 reviews so far
73%
saidit'sworth it
77%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Indocin (indomethacin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Advil (ibuprofen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
15possible side effects
  • Nausea
    33%
  • Swelling after surgery
    22%
  • Headache
    14%
  • Dizziness
    14%
  • Bleeding after surgery
    11%
  • Vomiting
    10%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Itchy skin
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Indigestion
    2%
  • Sleepiness
    2%
  • Excessive sweating
    2%
  • Lack of appetite
    2%
  • Fainting
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Heart attack and stroke
    • History of heart problems
    • Taking Advil (ibuprofen) for a long period of time
  • Stomach bleeding
    • History of stomach bleeding
    • Age 60 or older
    • Taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or blood thinners
    • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
    • Smoking
    • Taking the medicine for a long period of time
  • Severe allergic reaction
    • Asthma
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Kidney damage
    • Kidney disease
    • Heart failure
    • Liver disease
    • Taking certain high blood pressure medications
    • Age 60 or older
    • Taking the medicine for a long period of time
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women who want to or can become pregnant
    • Pregnant women
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart attack or stroke
    • History of heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoking
  • Stomach bleeding
    • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
    • Age 65 or older
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Allergy to aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Worsening kidney or liver function
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
  • Bleeding or bruising
    • Blood-thinning medicines
    • Low blood platelet count
See more detailed risks and warnings