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Drugs belonging to a family of meds called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are taken for managing different types of pain. Conditions these meds help treat are migraines, tooth pain, spasms or cramped muscles, painful joints caused by arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders. NSAIDs can also be taken to reduce symptoms of infections such as common cold, flu, and fever. In this milieu, it is important to know more details about naproxen versus ibuprofen for arthritis. Having more input on the differences is a safe thing to do prior to commencing treatment.

NSAIDs are widely consumed to inhibit the actions of COX 1 as well as COX 2 enzymes. You need to know that COX 1 is linked to the inside membranes of the gastric tract. On the other hand, COX 2 helps manage signals associated with inflammation/swelling; especially while you are experiencing discomforts such as pain. Caregivers prescribe NSAIDs for the management of a wide range of pains.

What is naproxen?

Naproxen is a popular form of NSAIDs used for treating several kinds of pain. It is considered a long-action NSAID variant as compared to other non-selective NSAIDs. Its long-action capabilities may trigger some acute side effects in your gastric tract and its inner walls.

What is ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is an NSAID used for treating pains as well as a few signs of infections. Actie chemicals of this NSAID help control enzymes that produce prostaglandin – your body makes the latter naturally to hasten the healing process. Ibuprofen is taken for migraines, joint pain, backache, spasms and cramps.

Naproxen versus ibuprofen for arthritis

Both of these NSAIDs help inhibit enzymes that trigger swelling of the body due to autoimmune conditions like arthritis. One of the main differences is: that doses are naproxen – a long-acting NSAID – are taken two times per day. But ibuprofen is a short-action med and hence is consumed every 4 hours.  Of these two, naproxen is also made as an extended relief pill.

Naproxen versus ibuprofen: as dosages of naproxen i.e., twice per day – are more convenient than ibuprofen i.e., 4 to 5 times each day. Also, long-term consumption of either of these NSAIDs may cause cardiac problems like heart arrest or a stroke. Of these two meds, naproxen is known to bear lesser risks of cardiovascular risks. However, the risks of inner bleeding or ulcers are less with ibuprofen.

In general, people who are living with arthritis must tell their treating physician about the drugs they are currently taking. It is a good practice to list the meds you are consuming presently. It is essential to add prescription drugs, OTC meds, supplements of vitamins, dietary aids, and herbal meds to this list.

Naproxen versus ibuprofen - Webp

Precautions for the safe use of NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen

Foremost of all, it is not a safe practice to have another NSAID while you are already one such med. You need to remember that long-acting NSAIDs are more likely to cause gastric conditions like bruises, internal bleeding, and ulcers on the inner membranes of your digestive system. Also, it is unsafe to take NSAIDs – be it ibuprofen or naproxen – for a longer period.

Among the elderly, risks of cardiac problems or renal dysfunction are quite likely. Users of either of these meds – upon witnessing undesired effects such as diarrhea, nausea, gas formation, heartburn, vomiting, soreness of throat, change of taste, etc. are advised to consult with their caregiving team on an emergency basis.

If the discomforts mentioned continue to bother you for a few days, immediately dial 911; you may also call the helplines of the FDA in the US. Canadian residents must either contact a poison control cell or reach out to Health Canada without delay.


Information provided here is only supplementary. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website does not suggest that intake of this drug is safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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