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Naproxen vs. Ibuprofen

The Difference Between Pain Relievers: Naproxen vs. Ibuprofen

There are different kinds of painkillers that are available for managing various clinical conditions. Amongst the available painkillers, naproxen and ibuprofen are two commonly used solutions that are effective and safe. In this article, we shall briefly review each of these painkillers and talk about the specific clinical indications for them.

Naproxen (Aleve)

Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by altering levels of hormones that are responsible for inflammation. In a way, it is similar to ibuprofen but has slightly different clinical applications. It is available in the form of tablets, suspensions, extended-release capsules and even in powder form. Side-effects are uncommon but can include indigestion, nausea, vomiting, an allergic reaction, difficulty breathing and even tightness in the chest. There is some concern that regular use of naproxen can increase cardiovascular risk.

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

Ibuprofen is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is used in the treatment of pain. It is more commonly prescribed than naproxen and is available in the form of tablets or gel. The gel is often applied locally in areas where individuals have suffered some form of injury. Ibuprofen is a safer drug to use in individuals who have cardiovascular risk factors or underlying cardiovascular disease.

Clinical applications of naproxen

Naproxen is used in the treatment of muscular aches and pains, arthritis, and headaches. Doses can vary as can the duration of treatment. Side-effects must be monitored once treatment has commenced. A common concern with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, which can be easily monitored.

Clinical applications of ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is also used in the management of pain though it is more often prescribed in patients who are suffering from pain (and who have an underlying history of cardiovascular disease, though not always). It is useful in treating muscle aches and pains, joint pains and backaches, headaches and even fever in both adults and children. As is the case with naproxen, the dosage can vary depending upon the clinical indication. Side-effect profiles are similar and ibuprofen is often recommended to be taken after food as it can cause hyperacidity and stomach ulcers.

When should I take naproxen?

If you suffer from any form of pain and do not have a history of heart disease, naproxen may be helpful.

When should I take ibuprofen?

Pain that requires treatment in an individual who also has cardiovascular risk factors can take ibuprofen safely.

The difference between naproxen and ibuprofen

As such, there does not appear to be a significant difference in the mechanism of action of these two drugs. The indications may vary, though the choice between naproxen or ibuprofen sometimes depends upon the treating physician. Of course, the patient’s background history and should be noted and the appropriate drug should be prescribed based on what the possible risk of taking the drug is in the first place.

Naproxen and ibuprofen are powerful anti-inflammatory agents used in the management of pain. The primary difference between the two is that naproxen is unlikely to be safe in managing pain in patients with cardiovascular risk factors while ibuprofen appears to have a better profile for that specific use.

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Comments

Does Naproxen contain caffeine? Thanks

Naproxen is in and of itself the chemical/drug, it doesn't contain anything. Certain brands mix together pain relievers and some add in caffeine, Excedrin for example. Unless the box/bottle says caffeine, it doesn't contain caffeine.

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