Difference Between Ibuprofen and Aspirin


Main Difference

The main difference between Ibuprofen and Aspirin is that Ibuprofen is propionic acid derivative and Aspirin is salicylic acid derivative.

Ibuprofen vs. Aspirin

Ibuprofen is a propionic acid derivative while Aspirin is a salicylate. Ibuprofen is used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic. On the other hand, Aspirin is used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and as an anticlotting agent. Ibuprofen is available in strengths of 200,400,600 and a maximum of 800 mg while Aspirin is available in strengths of 75mg low to maximum 325mg. Ibuprofen can be prescribed to children under the age of 12, whereas Aspirin is not given to children and infants. Ibuprofen can be prescribed to pregnant women, while Aspirin is not recommended to pregnant women. Ibuprofen has no use in cardiovascular doses, while Aspirin is an important drug of cardiovascular disorders.


Comparison Chart

Ibuprofen is a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is propionic acid derivative and used as an analgesic for symptomatic treatment in different diseases.Aspirin is a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is used as an analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet drug.
Receptors at Which Drug Acts
COX-1 and COX-2COX-1 and COX-2
Mode of Action
Inhibits cox enzymeInhibits cox enzyme
1.8-2 hrs15minutes
Peak Plasma Concentration
Peak plasma concentration of aspirin is reached in 30-40minutes.Peak plasma concentration of Ibuprofen is reached in 1-2 hrs.
Use in Pregnancy
Safe to useContraindicated in last trimester
Available Dosage Forms
Tablets (also chewable), Capsules, Oral suspensionsTablets (also Delayed release, Sustained release and chewable), Extended-release capsules
Asthma, Urticaria, Known hypersensitivity to IbuprofenAlcoholism, Bleeding disorder, Ulcers, Known hypersensitivity to aspirin
Use in Children
Ibuprofen can be prescribed to children.Aspirin cannot be prescribed to children.

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is propionic acid derivative. Ibuprofen is used as an analgesic for symptomatic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing arthritis, osteoarthritis, and acute gouty arthritis. Ibuprofen is also recommended for acute tendinitis, bursitis, and primary dysmenorrhea. Ibuprofen is the most commonly used NSAID in the USA. Ibuprofen is over the counter drug. Ibuprofen tablets are available which contain 200 too mg Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is prescribed up to a dose of 800mg four times a day to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis although low doses are also sufficient. Ibuprofen is prescribed at the dose of 400mg after 4 or 6 hrs to treat primary dysmenorrhea. Ibuprofen rapidly absorbs and bound to plasma proteins. Ibuprofen is metabolized by the liver, and its metabolites are excreted through renal excretion. Ibuprofen half-life is round about 2 hrs. Ibuprofen can be used in all those patients who are intolerant to other NSAIDs. Ibuprofen shows gastrointestinal adverse effects in 5-15% of patients. Ibuprofen shows some side effects, but their frequency is less. They include thrombocytopenia, headaches, rashes, dizziness, blurred vision, fluid retention, and edema. Ibuprofen also causes toxic amblyopia in some patients. Ibuprofen should not be used in patients of ocular disturbances. Ibuprofen can be used in pregnancy, but it can delay the parturition. Ibuprofen is safe to use in lactating mothers as excretion by breast milk is negligible.


Examples of famous brands containing ibuprofen are ADVIL, MOTRIN, BRUFEN

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is used as an analgesic, an antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory drug. Aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid. Aspirin is used in different ailment in different doses. Aspirin is recommended to treat the pericarditis, rheumatoid fever, and Kawasaki disease. Aspirin is prescribed daily in patients who had a heart attack based upon the condition that the patient is not allergic to aspirin. Aspirin recommendation in patients who never had a heart attack depends upon the risks and benefits associated with its treatment. Aspirin should not be used on a daily basis for headaches and fever because it causes internal bleeding. Aspirin also interferes with blood clotting action as it inhibits the clumping up of platelets, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack. Aspirin is prescribed at a low dose of 75mg to a heart patient, and this dose can be increased to 150m, but 81mg is considered the most effective dose for heart patients. Aspirin shows adverse effects like stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, and asthma. Aspirin if taken in high dose then it causes salicylate poisoning or also called Aspirin poisoning. Aspirin poisoning occurs between doses of 300-500 depending upon the patient’s age and genetics. Aspirin poisoning has symptoms like ringing in the ears, nausea, fast breathing rate, and abdominal pain. Aspirin poisoning complications are swelling of brain/lungs, low blood sugar, and cardiac arrest. Aspirin is not used in the last part of pregnancy. Aspirin is not prescribed to children as it causes in them Reye’s syndrome.


Common brands that contain Aspirin are Disprin, Anacin, Ecotrin

Key Differences

  1. Ibuprofen is a propionic acid derivative while aspirin is salicylate.
  2. Ibuprofen is available in oral suspensions while Aspirin is not available in the liquid preparation.
  3. Ibuprofen is safe to use in children; on the other hand; Aspirin causes Reye’s syndrome in children.


The main conclusion of the above discussion is that both Ibuprofen and Aspirin are Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are important for their pharmacological actions as analgesics, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White