Difference Between Ibuprofen and Naproxen


Main Difference

The main difference between Ibuprofen and Naproxen is that Ibuprofen has a shorter halflife of 2hrs and Naproxen has a longer half-life of 14-28 hrs depending upon the age of the patient.

Ibuprofen vs. Naproxen

Ibuprofen is short-acting analgesic while Naproxen is long-acting analgesic. Ibuprofen has slightly less efficacy concerning analgesia and relief of morning stiffness while Naproxen has slightly more efficacy concerning analgesia and relief of morning stiffness. Ibuprofen has the unaltered risk of myocardial infarction; on the other hand, Naproxen has a 10% reduced risk of myocardial infarction. Ibuprofen causes less gastrointestinal problems, whereas Naproxen causes more gastrointestinal problems. Ibuprofen has available strengths from 200 to 800mg while Naproxen has available strengths from 250 to 500mg. Ibuprofen enhances the negative effects of cyclosporines on the function of kidneys; on the other hand, Naproxen does not interfere with the action of cyclosporines on kidney function.


Comparison Chart

Ibuprofen is the short-acting Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and is derivative of propionic acid used to treat pains.Naproxen is the long-acting Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and is derivative of propionic acid used to treat pains.
Drug Category
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
Mechanism of Action
Non selectively inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzyme.Non selectively inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzyme.
Available Salts
Ibuprofen SodiumNaproxen sodium
Interaction with Aspirin
Ibuprofen interacts with antiplatelet effects of aspirin.Naproxen interacts with antiplatelet effects of aspirin.
2 hrs14-28 hrs
Treatment of overdose may include gastric lavage, laxative use, breathing support, and intravenous fluidsOverdose may lead to stomach bleeding, so seek emergency assistance.

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, most commonly used and chemically it belongs to propionic acid derivatives. Ibuprofen is approved as a symptomatic treatment in different medical situations like rheumatoid arthritis, acute gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Ibuprofen is available in drug stores and pharmacy without any prescription. Ibuprofen is available in tablets form where its strength varies from 200mg to 800mg, but only 200mg tablets can be taken from pharmacies without any prescription. Ibuprofen when taken orally it avidly bounds to proteins, and 90% is metabolized through hepatic metabolism, and its metabolites are cleared through renal excretion. Ibuprofen has a half-life of 2 hrs, and its antiarthritic effects persist even after the decline of plasma levels. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are treated with the doses of 800mg when given four times a day ut in case of mild pains of Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis the low doses can also be used to mitigate that pain. Ibuprofen in the doses of 400mg is taken after every 4-6 hrs for the treatment of the primary dysmenorrhea. Ibuprofen is the best choice for those patients who cannot tolerate the aspirin and indomethacin, but even in case of some patients, they show gastrointestinal side effects after the use of Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen has very fewer side effects, but those who are seen are headaches, dizziness, thrombocytopenia, blurred vision and in some cases amblyopia, edema because of fluid retention. Ibuprofen can cause ocular disturbances, and in this case, its use must be discontinued. Ibuprofen use in pregnant women is occasional; however, in third-trimester caution must be taken can cause it can delay the parturition.


Famous brands containing Ibuprofen are Advil, medipen, etc

What is Naproxen?

Naproxen is a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and is categorized as propionic acid derivatives. Naproxen when taken orally, it is absorbed fully. Presence of food in the stomach affects the rate of absorption of the Naproxen, but it does not affect the extent of absorption of Naproxen. Naproxen attains peak plasma concentration in 2-4 hrs after the administration of the drug. Naproxen can be absorbed when given through rectal route, but rectal route administration of the Naproxen leads to less absorption as compared to the absorption of Naproxen through the oral route. Naproxen has variable plasma half-life, for example, in young ones it is 14hrs, and 28 hrs in elders and the reason behind this delay is the decline in renal function because of increased age. About 30% of Naproxen undergoes 6-demethylation. Naproxen and its metabolites are excreted as the glucoronoid and other conjugates. 90% of Naproxen is completely bound to plasma protein when taken in therapeutic doses. Naproxen crosses membranes of the placenta and appears in the milk of lactating mothers. Naproxen shows gastrointestinal disturbances. Naproxen also shows some CNS side effects like drowsiness, headache, dizziness, sweating because of fatigue and several other dermatological problems. Some patients are also allergic to Naproxen and show symptoms of pruritus and different kinds of dermatological problems. Few cases of jaundice, impairment of renal functions, angioedema are also seen in patients who are taking Naproxen.


Brands of Naproxen are Synflex, Aleve, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Ibuprofen is long-acting NSAID while Naproxen is short-acting NSAID.
  2. Ibuprofen is less efficacious for analgesia, on the other hand, Naproxen is more efficacious for analgesia
  3. Ibuprofen has a half-life of 2 hrs whereas Naproxen has a half-life of 14-28hrs.
  4. Ibuprofen does not affect the risk of myocardial infarction while Naproxen reduces 10% the risk of myocardial infarction
  5. Ibuprofen leads to less gastrointestinal disturbances because of its small duration of action; on the other hand, Naproxen leads to more gastrointestinal disturbances because of its long duration of action.


The conclusion of the above discussion is that Ibuprofen and Naproxen are propionic acid derivatives and are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which have wide use in the treatment of pain for their pharmacological actions.

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