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Motrin vs. Ibuprofen: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 3, 2023
Motrin is a brand name of the generic medication ibuprofen, and they are chemically identical, commonly utilized as anti-inflammatory pain relievers.

Key Differences

Motrin signifies a specific brand of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) utilized to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. On the other hand, ibuprofen denotes the generic form of the medication, often utilized for the same purposes but available under various brand names.
While Motrin is recognized widely and commonly used to treat a variety of pain-related symptoms, ibuprofen, its active ingredient, offers the essential therapeutic effects, such as reducing fever and alleviating minor aches and pains.
Motrin, as a brand, may command a higher price in marketplaces due to its recognition and customer loyalty. Conversely, ibuprofen, often found in generic and other brand forms, might be available at a relatively lower cost while providing the same therapeutic benefits.
In a medical context, prescribing Motrin specifically might suggest a provider's preference or belief in the consistency of the brand, whereas recommending ibuprofen leaves the brand selection to the patient or pharmacist, potentially offering cost-saving options.
Both Motrin and generic ibuprofen are often available over the counter (OTC), offering accessible pain management to the general public without a requirement for a prescription, facilitating ease of access and self-management of minor pains and aches.

Comparison Chart


Brand name
Generic name


Typically higher
Generally lower


Specific to certain retailers
Widely available


Advertised and recognized
Less marketing unless branded

Prescription Label

Specifically labeled as "Motrin"
Can be prescribed generically

Motrin and Ibuprofen Definitions


Motrin is often utilized for its anti-inflammatory properties.
He took Motrin to help reduce the swelling in his sprained ankle.


Ibuprofen is widely recognized as a fever reducer.
They gave their son ibuprofen to manage his fever during a cold.


Motrin is frequently employed to lower fever.
When the child had a fever, the parents administered Motrin to provide relief.


Ibuprofen is available over the counter and in prescription strengths.
Her doctor prescribed a higher strength of ibuprofen for her arthritis pain.


Motrin may sometimes be prescribed by healthcare professionals.
The physician recommended Motrin for managing post-vaccination pain.


Ibuprofen is a generic medication known for its pain-relieving effects.
The pharmacist suggested ibuprofen to alleviate his muscle pain.


Motrin is a widely recognized brand name of ibuprofen.
She bought Motrin because she trusts the brand for treating her headaches.


Ibuprofen can be obtained under various brand names and generic versions.
She chose a store-brand ibuprofen to save money.


Motrin is available in various forms, including tablets and liquid gels.
The doctor recommended Motrin liquid gels for her menstrual cramps.


Ibuprofen is frequently utilized to minimize inflammation.
The athlete took ibuprofen to control inflammation in his injured knee.


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


A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, C13H18O2, commonly used for its analgesic and antipyretic properties.


(pharmaceutical drug) A synthetic compound used widely as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug.


(rare) To treat with ibuprofen; to administer ibuprofen to.


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


What is Motrin used for?

Motrin is used to reduce fever and treat pain or inflammation caused by various conditions.

Is ibuprofen the same as Motrin regarding effectiveness?

Yes, Motrin and generic ibuprofen have the same effectiveness when used in equivalent doses.

What is the standard dosage for ibuprofen for adults?

The standard dosage for adults usually ranges from 200 to 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours, though it may vary.

Is ibuprofen anti-inflammatory?

Yes, ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation.

Is it possible to build a tolerance to Motrin?

There's no conclusive evidence that individuals can build a tolerance to Motrin, but efficacy and safety for long-term use should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Can I substitute Motrin with any ibuprofen brand?

Yes, Motrin can typically be substituted with any ibuprofen brand or generic version.

Can I buy ibuprofen without a prescription?

Yes, ibuprofen is commonly available over-the-counter in lower doses.

What are the side effects of Motrin?

Side effects of Motrin may include stomach upset, dizziness, or headache among others.

Can Motrin cause allergic reactions?

Yes, although rare, Motrin can cause allergic reactions; any new reactions post-consumption should be promptly discussed with a doctor.

Is ibuprofen safe during pregnancy?

Ibuprofen is generally not recommended during pregnancy and especially avoided during the last trimester; always consult healthcare professionals.

Can I give ibuprofen to my pet?

No, ibuprofen can be toxic to pets and should not be administered without consulting a vet.

Is Motrin more expensive than ibuprofen?

Motrin, being a brand-name product, is often more expensive than generic ibuprofen.

How long does it take for Motrin to work?

Motrin often begins to work within 15 to 30 minutes with peak effectiveness reached within 1 to 2 hours.

Does Motrin interact with other medications?

Yes, Motrin can interact with various medications; ensure to discuss all medications with a healthcare professional before usage.

How should Motrin be stored?

Motrin should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Is ibuprofen safe for regular use?

While ibuprofen can be safe for many people, regular, prolonged use should be discussed with a healthcare professional due to potential side effects.

Can children take Motrin?

Yes, there is a children’s variant of Motrin, but dosages must adhere to guidelines and/or professional advice.

Is it safe to consume alcohol while taking ibuprofen?

It’s recommended to avoid alcohol while taking ibuprofen due to increased risk of stomach bleeding.

Can Motrin be taken on an empty stomach?

It's preferable to take Motrin with food or milk to lessen the risk of stomach upset.

What happens if I overdose on ibuprofen?

An overdose of ibuprofen can be dangerous; seek immediate medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
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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