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Naproxen And Ibuprofen

naproxen and ibuprofen

Introduction

Ibuprofen and naproxen are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You may know them by their most popular brand names: Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). These drugs are alike in many ways, so you may even wonder if it really matters which one you choose. Take a look at this comparison to get a better idea of which one might be better for you.

What are the uses for ibuprofen vs. naproxen?

Ibuprofen uses

Ibuprofen is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inflammation and fever caused by many and diverse diseases. It is used for treating menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Naproxen uses

Naproxen is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever.

What ibuprofen and naproxen do

Both drugs work by temporarily preventing your body from releasing a substance called prostaglandin. Prostaglandins contribute to inflammation, which may cause pain and fever. By blocking prostaglandins, ibuprofen and naproxen treat minor aches and pains from:

  • toothaches
  • headaches
  • backaches
  • muscle aches
  • menstrual cramps
  • the common cold
  • They also temporarily reduce fever.

Ibuprofen vs. naproxen

Although ibuprofen and naproxen are very similar, they aren’t exactly the same. For example, pain relief from ibuprofen doesn’t last as long as pain relief from naproxen. That means you don’t have to take naproxen as often as you would ibuprofen. This difference may make naproxen a better option for treating pain from chronic conditions.

On the other hand, ibuprofen can be used in young children, but naproxen is only for use in children 12 years and older. Certain forms of ibuprofen are made to be easier for younger children to take.

What Are Possible Side Effects Of Ibuprofen?

Common side effects of Ibuprofen include:

  • stomach pain,
  • constipation,
  • diarrhea,
  • bloating,
  • gas,
  • heartburn,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • nervousness,
  • skin itching or rash,
  • blurred vision, or
  • ringing in the ears.

Drug Interactions

“Be careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time,” says Karen M. Mahoney, M.D., deputy director of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. Taking two NSAIDs together can increase the risk of side effects and serious adverse events. For that reason, it can be wise to only have one NSAID in your medicine chest. It would avoid you reaching for the wrong bottle when you need a second dose.

Always discuss the use of OTC pain relievers with your physician, so you know what you can and cannot use with other medications.

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