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Ibuprofen Vs. Naproxen Sodium

By Emily Weller ; Updated July 27, 2017

You've got an headache, backache, or arthritis pain and you need to figure out which pain reliever is best to take, ibuprofen (found in Advil and Motrin) or naproxin sodium (Aleve). There are several things to consider.

What is Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. It works by inhibiting prostaglandins that are released in response to inflammation and injury.

Function of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen reduces inflammation and fever and relieves pain. It is available over the counter in doses of 200 mg or 400 mg, or by prescription in stronger doses.

What is Naproxen Sodium

Naproxen sodium is also a NSAID. It is commonly prescribed as a treatment for arthritis, but is also available over the counter to treat headaches, menstrual cramps and other moderate aches and pains.


Since ibuprofen and naproxen sodium belong to the NSAID group, they carry similar risks, such as an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. They may also cause stomach bleeding.

Additional Risks of Naproxen Sodium

The sodium content of naproxen sodium may not be ideal for those on a low-sodium diet. Additionally, the drug may cause drowsiness.

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