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Aleve vs. Advil: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 17, 2023
Aleve (naproxen) and Advil (ibuprofen) are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but Aleve lasts longer (8-12 hours) compared to Advil's 4-6 hours.

Key Differences

Aleve, with the active ingredient naproxen, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation. Whereas, Advil, containing ibuprofen, is another NSAID with similar effects but different dosages and duration.
Aleve generally lasts longer, typically 8-12 hours with fewer doses required, while Advil works for 4-6 hours and may need more frequent dosing. Both Aleve and Advil are effective for conditions like arthritis, headaches, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps.
Side effects for both Aleve and Advil can include gastrointestinal issues, risk of heart attack or stroke; however, risks may vary slightly due to their different chemical structures and metabolism.
While both Aleve and Advil are available over the counter, their interaction with other medications can vary, necessitating caution. Both medications can interfere with blood thinners, but Aleve is longer-lasting, which may influence its interaction duration.
In summary, both Aleve and Advil are prominent NSAIDs providing effective pain relief and reduction of inflammation, with the primary differences lying in their active ingredients, duration of effectiveness, and dosage requirements.

Comparison Chart

Active Ingredient


Duration of Effect

Longer-lasting (8-12 hours)
Shorter duration (4-6 hours)

Dosage Frequency

Less frequent
More frequent

Risk of Side Effects

Risks present, varying with individual and dosage
Similar risks, varying with individual and dosage

Drug Interactions

May have prolonged interactions due to longer effect
Potential interactions, shorter duration

Aleve and Advil Definitions


Aleve is an over-the-counter medication used for pain relief.
She took an Aleve to help with her headache.


Advil is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever.
He usually takes an Advil when he gets tension headaches.


Aleve is often utilized for treating chronic conditions due to its extended efficacy.
He relies on Aleve for managing his chronic back pain.


Advil has anti-inflammatory benefits.
She uses Advil to diminish inflammation from her tendonitis.


Aleve is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
After spraining his ankle, he used Aleve to reduce swelling.


Advil provides quick relief for various pains.
After getting a tooth pulled, she took Advil for immediate pain relief.


Aleve can be used for various types of pain, including menstrual cramps, headaches, and muscle aches.
During her period, she finds that Aleve effectively alleviates her cramps.


Advil is versatile, used for headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, and other pains.
She always keeps Advil on hand for her occasional migraines.


Aleve is recognized for its long-lasting effects.
Because of its 12-hour effectiveness, she preferred Aleve for managing her arthritis pain.


Advil is a common choice for short-term pain management.
He took some Advil to relieve pain after his minor surgery.


A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (trademarks Aleve and Anaprox and Aflaxen)


A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine used to relieve the pain of arthritis and as an analgesic and antipyretic; Advil and Motrin and Nuprin are trademarks of brands of ibuprofen tablets.


A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (trade names Advil and Motrin and Nuprin) used to relieve the pain of arthritis and as an analgesic and antipyretic


Can both Aleve and Advil be used for headaches?

Yes, both Aleve and Advil are effective for headache relief.

How long do the effects of Aleve and Advil last?

Aleve typically lasts 8-12 hours, while Advil lasts 4-6 hours.

Are there age restrictions for taking Aleve or Advil?

They are not recommended for children under certain ages; read labels or consult a doctor.

Are there risks associated with long-term use of Aleve and Advil?

Yes, potential risks include gastrointestinal issues, heart attack, or stroke.

Can Aleve and Advil be taken together?

No, it's not recommended due to increased risk of side effects.

What are the active ingredients in Aleve and Advil?

Aleve contains naproxen, and Advil contains ibuprofen.

Do Aleve and Advil treat inflammation?

Yes, both are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Are Aleve and Advil available over the counter?

Yes, both are available without a prescription.

Can Aleve and Advil cause allergic reactions?

Yes, some individuals may have allergies to NSAIDs.

How frequently can Aleve and Advil be taken?

Aleve is usually taken every 8-12 hours; Advil every 4-6 hours.

Are there any common side effects for Aleve and Advil?

Yes, including stomach pain, nausea, heartburn, and dizziness.

Can either Aleve or Advil be used for reducing fever?

Yes, both can help reduce fever.

Are there people who should avoid taking Aleve or Advil?

Individuals with certain medical conditions or taking specific medications should consult their doctor.

Do Aleve and Advil come in various forms?

Yes, including tablets, caplets, liquid gels, and chewables.

Is it safe to use Aleve or Advil during pregnancy?

It's crucial to consult a healthcare provider before using any medication during pregnancy.

Is there a difference in the cost between Aleve and Advil?

Prices can vary based on location, quantity, and form, but generally, they are competitively priced.

Which is more effective for arthritis pain: Aleve or Advil?

Both are effective; Aleve may be preferred for long-lasting relief.

Can Aleve and Advil be taken with alcohol?

It's best to avoid alcohol with NSAIDs due to increased stomach bleeding risk.

Can Aleve or Advil affect blood pressure?

Yes, both can potentially increase blood pressure.

Can Aleve and Advil be used for sports injuries?

Yes, they can help relieve pain and inflammation from sports-related injuries.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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