Naproxen vs. Ibuprofen
Naproxen and Ibuprofen similarities
Ibuprofen works faster than naproxen
Naproxen offers long-lasting relief
Naproxen targets muscle tissue inflammation better
Ibuprofen has negative effects on the heart and the liver
In order to relieve pain, it is natural to take a painkiller. For pain due to arthritis, pulled muscles, menstrual cramps, etc., over-the-counter pain relievers are available to ease the aches and pain and help with life. But these may cause certain side effects and may not be appropriate or safe for everyone. Many people believe that just because these medications are available over the counter, they are safe, but they can also have some consequences on the body that need to be understood.
Painkillers are used to manage various clinical conditions. Naproxen and ibuprofen are commonly used painkillers and are effective and safe. The popular brand names are Advil for ibuprofen and Aleve for naproxen. Both are NSAIDs. Since they are both used to treat the same conditions, a comparison of the two will give a better idea of which one is appropriate for you.
Naproxen alters the level of hormones responsible for causing inflammation. It is an anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug and is available in various forms, such as extended-release capsules, suspensions, tablets, and powder. Side effects associated with it are nausea, vomiting, indigestion, difficulty difficulty, allergic reactions, and chest tightness. There is some concern regarding the regular use of naproxen. It has been suggested that if used regularly, it may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Naproxen is used to treat muscular aches, arthritis, pain, and headaches. Once the treatment has started, the patient's condition should be monitored to look for any side effects. During treatment, the dose may change. The concern with non-steroidal drugs is the chance of gastro-intestinal bleeding. This should be monitored frequently and can be easily detected. Those suffering from pain that requires treatment can take naproxen, but those who have a history of heart disease should not take it.
Ibuprofen is used to treat pain. It is also an anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug. It is available in the form of tablets and gels and is prescribed more regularly than naproxen. People with cardiovascular diseases or with cardiovascular risk factors can safely use ibuprofen. In the form of a gel, it is applied to the local area of injury only.
Those suffering from pain and an underlying history of cardiovascular disease are more often prescribed ibuprofen. Muscle aches, joint pain, back pain, headache, any other pain and fever in adults and children are treated using ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is taken after meals since, on an empty stomach, it can cause hyperacidity and stomach ulcers. Depending on the clinical indications, its dosage can vary. Ibuprofen can be taken safely if the individual is experiencing pain and also has cardiovascular risk factors.
It is available in the form of a liquid gel-filled capsule and oral tablet only. The typical dose is 220mg. It may be needed every 8-12 hours and the maximum dose is 660mg per day.
However, for the proper dosage, consult your doctor.
It is available in the form of an oral tablet, liquid gel-filled capsule, and liquid oral suspension. For children between ages 2 and 11, it is available in a chewable tablet and liquid oral drops. Its typical dose is 200-400mg for people 12 years or older and may be needed every 4-6 hours. Maximum dose per day is 1200mg.
Prostaglandin causes inflammation, which further causes fever and pain. Both drugs temporary prevent the body from releasing prostaglandin and thus treat minor aches and pains from headache, menstrual cramps, backache, toothache, common cold, and muscle ache.
Differences (Naproxen vs. Ibuprofen)
The choice of using naproxen or ibuprofen may vary depending on the treating physician. As such, there is no difference in the mechanism of action in these drugs. Before making the choice, the person’s background history should be kept in mind. Accordingly, the appropriate drug should be prescribed. The risk of taking the drug should be considered as well. Both the drugs are anti-inflammatory agents and both are used to manage pain. The only difference is that naproxen is thought to be not safe for those with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors, whereas ibuprofen has a better profile comparatively.
Both are painkillers, but the pain relief from naproxen lasts longer than the pain relief from ibuprofen. This means that naproxen does not need to be taken as frequently as ibuprofen. Hence, for treating chronic conditions and pain, naproxen is the better option. In children, naproxen is used only for those above the age of 12, whereas ibuprofen is available in certain forms that make it easy for younger children to take.
- Aleve is long-lasting, whereas ibuprofen lasts for a shorter amount of time.
- Because of its long-lasting effects, Aleve is more likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
- NSAIDs are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Since both are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, their side effects are the same. However, in the case of naproxen, the risk of heart- and blood pressure-related problems are greater than with ibuprofen.
Some common side effects associated with the drugs are:
- Stomach pain
Some severe serious side effects associated with both drugs are:
- Stomach bleeding
- Heart attack
- Holes in the gut
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease, which may include kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Liver disease, which may include liver failure
- Allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening
Prolonged use or taking more than the prescribed dose should be avoided. The risk of heart problems and blood pressure-related problems can increase. Cigarette smoking or drinking three alcoholic drinks per day may also increase the chance of side effects occurring. If any of the above side effects are experienced, contact your doctor immediately.
Naproxen and ibuprofen are known to interact, but naproxen is known to interact with a greater number of drugs than ibuprofen. They interact with the following medications:
- Methotrexate (used in rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of cancer)
- Some blood pressure medications, such as angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitors
- Diuretics (these are also called water pills)
- Warfarin (a blood thinner)
- Bipolar disorder drug lithium
Naproxen interacts with more drugs than ibuprofen. Naproxen is known to interact with:
- Some drugs that are used to treat cholesterol, e.g., cholestyramine
- Drugs used to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Antacids drugs, e.g., H2 blockers and sucralfate
The effectiveness of ibuprofen and naproxen can be altered by certain medical conditions. Hence, take these drugs only with a doctor’s approval. If you have any of the following conditions, consult your doctor before you take these medications:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- High cholesterol
- Heart attack, heart failure, or stroke
- Stomach bleeding
- Holes in the gut
Both drugs are similar, but some main differences are the age of the patient the drugs can treat, the forms in which they are available, the interaction of these drugs with other medications, the frequency of using these drugs, and the risks or side effects associated with them. Their differences make one drug a better option than the other for certain people.
By taking steps such as using the minimum dose for the shortest time, the possible serious side effects can be lowered. Ask your doctor the following questions about their usage:
- How long should ibuprofen or naproxen be taken?
- Can naproxen or ibuprofen be taken with other medications?
- If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I take naproxen or ibuprofen?
Both drugs work by blocking COX-2 and COX-1 enzymes, which relieves pain and reduces inflammation.