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 relive pain, it is natural to take a pain relief. Pains due to arthritis, muscle pull, menstrual cramps, over the counter medications that are pain relievers are available that tend to ease the ache and pain and help in going on with life. But these may cause certain side effects and may not be appropriate and safe for all. 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 needs to be understood.
For managing various clinical conditions painkillers are used. Naproxen and ibuprofen are the commonly used painkillers which are effective and safe. They are the commonly used solutions. The popular brand names are Advil for ibuprofen and Aleve for naproxen. Both are NSAIDs. Since they both are used to treat the same conditions comparison of both will give a better idea of which one is appropriate for you.
It alters the level of hormones responsible for causing the inflammation. It is an anti-inflammatory drug and is non-steroidal. It is available in various forms such as extended-release capsules, suspensions, tablets and in powder form, side effects associated with it are nausea, vomiting, indigestion, breathing 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.
To treat muscular aches, arthritis, pain and headache naproxen is used. Once the treatment has started the condition of the patient should be monitored to look for any side effects. During the duration of the treatment the dose may change. The problem with non-steroidal drugs is the chances 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.
It is used to treat pain. It is also an anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drug. It is available in the form of tablets and gels and is prescribed more regularly then naproxen. People with cardiovascular diseases or with cardiovascular risk factors can safely use ibuprofen. In the form of gel, it is applied to the local area of injury only.
Those suffering from pain and 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 is treated by using ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is taken after meals as on empty stomach it can cause hyperacidity and stomach ulcer. Depending on the clinical indications its dose can vary. Ibuprofen can be taken safely if the individual is experiencing pain and also those with cardiovascular risk factors.
It is available in the form of liquid gel-filled capsule and oral tablet only. The typical dose is 220mg. it may be needed every 8-12 hours and maximum dose is 660mg in a day.
However, for the proper dosage consult your doctor.
It is available in the form of oral tablet, liquid gel-filled capsule and liquid oral suspension. For children between ages 2-11 it is available in the form of 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 1200 mg.
Prostaglandin causes inflammation which further causes fever and pain. Both the drugs temporary prevents the body from releasing prostaglandin and thus treat minor aches and pain from headache, menstrual cramps, backache, toothache, common cold and muscle ache.
Difference (Naproxen vs ibuprofen)
The choice of using the drug naproxen or ibuprofen may vary depending on the physician who is treating it. As such in the mechanism of action of these drugs there is no difference. Before making the choice the person’s background history should be kept in mind and notes. Accordingly, the appropriate drug should be prescribed. The risk of taking the drug should be considered. Both the drugs are anti-inflammatory agents and both are used to manage pain. The only difference is that naproxen is thought to be likely 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 is not needed to be taken as frequently as ibuprofen. Hence for treating chronic conditions and pain naproxen becomes a better option. In children naproxen is used only for children above the age of 12 and older whereas ibuprofen is available in certain forms that make it easy for younger children to take.
- Aleve is long acting whereas ibuprofen is short acting
- Aleve because of its long acting effects is more likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
- NSAIDs are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Since both are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs hence their side effects are the same. However, in case of naproxen the risk of heart and blood pressure related problems are more than ibuprofen.
Some common side effects associated with the drugs are
- Stomach pain
- Some severe serious side effects associated with both the drugs are:
- Stomach bleeding
- Heart attack
- Holes in the gut
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease which may include kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Liver disease which may include liver failure
- Allergic reactions which can be life threatening
Prolonged use or taking the drug 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 alcohols per day may also increase the chances of side effects. If any of the above side effects are experienced, then contact your doctor immediately.
Each of these drugs naproxen and ibuprofen are known to interact but naproxen is known to interact with more 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 as water pills
- Warfarin – it is 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 nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Antacids drugs e.g. H2 blockers and sucralfate
Working of ibuprofen and naproxen can get affected by certain medical conditions of the body. Hence take these rugs only after doctor’s approval. If you have any of the following conditions then 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
Bothe the drugs are almost 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 better option than the other.
By using certain 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 ibuprofen or naproxen should be taken?
- Can naproxen or ibuprofen be taken with other medications?
- If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, then can I take naproxen or ibuprofen?
Both the drugs work by blocking COX-2 and COX-1 enzyme which relives form pain and reduces inflammation.