Is it Safe to Take Advil and Aleve Together?
Advil and Aleve are popular medications used to help reduce pain, inflammation or fever. They are both over-the-counter medications, and are known as NSAIDs, which stands for nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.1
Advil is made with a drug called ibuprofen while Aleve is made with the drug naproxen. Even though both are often taken for similar reasons, they have slightly different effects. Naproxen may remain active up to four times longer than ibuprofen.1 This means you may have to take more ibuprofen for long-lasting relief, which can slightly increase your risk of side effects.
Safety and Side Effects of Advil
Advil is an NSAID that works by blocking certain enzymes that take part in the formation of prostaglandins.2 Prostaglandins are responsible for symptoms like pain and inflammation, so by blocking them, you also help to remove the symptoms. Advil works best when used for the following symptoms:
- Minor pain due to arthritis
- Backache and muscle aches
As with other medications, Advil does have some minor and temporary side effects. These can be avoided when taking the medication with food or milk, and by following proper dosage. Some side effects of Advil include:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Gas or bloating
Safety and Side Effects of Aleve
Aleve is also an NSAID, but instead of blocking enzymes, it reduces certain hormones that cause pain and inflammation. Aleve is used to provide relief from the following symptoms:
- Minor pain due to arthritis
- Muscular aches
- Back pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Relieve symptoms from common cold
While it is a common medication, if you have a history of allergic reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs, you should avoid this one, also. Those with a history of heart disease should not take Aleve, and it should not be taken just before or after heart bypass surgery. Before taking any over the counter NSAIDs, you should talk to your doctor if you have any of the following health issues:
- History of heart attack, blood clots or stroke
- Heart disease
- Asthma High blood pressure
- Liver or kidney disease
- If you already take aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke
Can I Take Advil and Aleve Together?
The short answer to this question is that it is generally not recommended. When pain or discomfort are very intense, it may be tempting to take both, especially since they work slightly differently. However, according to the FDA, they are in the same drug class called NSAIDs, and taking too many NSAIDs can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.2 Both Advil and Aleve should not be used in high doses or for long-term, which can increase the risk of side effects like stomach or intestinal bleeding.
Because of this, take one or the other and if you are unsure, ask your doctor which is best. If you have a medical issue and your doctor believes it is safe for you, you can get a prescription for stronger dosages, and your doctor can closely monitor you.
Prescription ibuprofen and prescription naproxen are popular medications because they work for most people with minimal side effects when used correctly. When left unchecked, it's possible for inflammation to get out of hand and lead to worse or chronic problems. But these drugs can moderate pain and provide quick relief.
In some cases, your doctor may provide a prescription strength form of ibuprofen or naproxen. If so, we can help with free prescription medication coupons to help you save. Download the free America’s Pharmacy Prescription Savings App to save up to 80% on your medications – instantly!