Difference Between Advil and Aleve

By: | Updated: Feb-19, 2022
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There are many over-the-counter medications that are effective for treating pain. Aside from Tylenol, there are also Advil and Aleve.

Do you know the differences between Advil and Aleve? In this article, we will compare and contrast these two medications. Read on to find out the differences!

Advil Aleve
Non-selective COX inhibitor. Selective COX-2 inhibitor.
Is less likely to cause kidney problems. Is more likely to cause kidney problems.
Available in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations. Available only as over-the-counter form.
Could be more expensive than Aleve. Could be less expensive.

Difference Between Advil and Aleve

The two most popular over-the-counter pain medications are Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). They are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that work to reduce inflammation and pain. However, they work in different ways and have different side effects.

Advil is a prodrug, meaning that it is converted into the active drug ibuprofen in the body. Ibuprofen is a non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, meaning that it inhibits both the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.

This inhibition of the COX enzymes leads to a reduction in the production of prostaglandins, which are involved in inflammation and pain.

Aleve is a selective COX-2 inhibitor. This means that it selectively inhibits the COX-2 enzyme.

COX-2 inhibitors are a newer type of NSAID that specifically block the COX-2 enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the production of prostaglandins that promote inflammation. By blocking the COX-2 enzyme, COX-2 inhibitors can reduce inflammation without reducing the protective effects of prostaglandins.

As a result, Aleve is less likely to cause stomach problems than Advil. However, Aleve can also cause kidney problems, which is not a side effect of Advil.

Advil is available in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations, while Aleve is only available over-the-counter. Aleve is also available in a liquid form, which is not available for Advil.

Doctors may recommend Advil over Aleve for people with stomach problems, such as ulcers, and for people with kidney problems. Aleve is generally recommended for people without these problems.

Aleve is less expensive than Advil. It costs about $10 for a bottle of Aleve, compared to about $20 for a bottle of Advil. People with insurance may pay less for Advil than Aleve.

Side effects of both drugs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and headache. Doctors recommend that people take the lowest dose of medication that controls their symptoms.

Symptoms should improve within a few days. If they do not, people should speak to their doctor.

Medications that interact with Advil and Aleve include warfarin, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. People taking these medications should speak to their doctor before taking either Advil or Aleve. Warfarin, aspirin, and other NSAIDs can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with either drug.

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