Active Ingredient: Naproxen
Aleve is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tendinitis, bursitis, gout, or menstrual cramps. Advil and Aleve are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Though they are different drugs, they fall within the same drug class. Here, we explore similarities and differences between the two.
Advil and Aleve are sold over-the-counter in pharmacies, which means they don’t require a prescription. They temporarily relieve minor aches and pains that occur with a headache, toothache, backache, menstrual cramps, sprains, the common cold, muscular aches, and minor arthritis pain.
Advil and Aleve both have the same action: they inhibit cyclooxygenases, COX-1 and COX-2, which are enzymes that are involved in the inflammatory process and other processes in the body. The main target to relieve pain and inflammation is inhibiting COX-2, but both of these drugs also inhibit COX-1, which isn’t desirable.
Because COX-1 maintains the normal lining of the stomach, inhibiting it can produce gastrointestinal symptoms like ulcers and upset stomach. COX-1 is also involved with kidney and platelet function, so there can be side effects with prolonged bleeding times and kidney function.
Taking Advil and Aleve together is not recommended. The risk of side effects and adverse events increases if both are taken together. You should stick to taking one or the other, and only as directed, using the lowest effective dose.
Aleve is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication used for pain relief, fever reduction, and for reducing inflammation. Because of its anti-inflammatory action, naproxen—whether prescribed or purchased over the counter—may be helpful as part of your treatment for either back pain or an arthritis related spine condition; this includes both ankylosing spondylitis (a form of inflammatory arthritis) and osteoarthritis. However, it’s important to work with your doctor’s recommendations to avoid potential side effects.