Difference between Advil and Ibuprofen

December 30, 2016 by Editorial Team

Advil and ibuprofen are very common medications. Since these are both over-the-counter drugs that can be bought without prescriptions, it is important for the public to know the background of these medications. People are aware that Advil and ibuprofen are pain medications. What is often unclear is the difference between the two. It will be tackled in this article.


Advil vs Ibuprofen

Advil is a brand name which contains ibuprofen as its active ingredient. It is used for minor arthritis pain, headaches, migraines, muscle aches, joint pain, back pain, toothaches, and menstrual pain. Other products include Advil PM, Children’s Advil, Advil Liqui-Gels, Advil Film-Coated, Advil Easy Open Arthritis Cap, Advil Migraine, and Advil Menstrual Pain.


Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used as an analgesic for mild to moderate pain such as headaches, injuries, toothaches, or back pain; for primary dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps; or as a symptomatic relief for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. It can also reduce fever. Ibuprofen is available as tablets, capsules, liquids, granules, creams, gels, or sprays. Ibuprofen is the generic name of the drug from which brands such as Advil, Motrin, Midol, Genpril, Propinal, and many more are manufactured.

Advil vs Ibuprofen

So what is the difference between Advil and ibuprofen?

The active ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen. The main difference is that ibuprofen is the generic name and Advil is the brand name. The mechanism of action of how the body uses them as pain relievers is the same. The indications, side effects, and contraindications are also the same. Advil is only different from other brands of ibuprofen in terms of how it is manufactured, the binders and fillers used, and the price. So basically, Advil and ibuprofen are the same.

Comparison Chart

Brand nameGeneric name
More expensiveCheaper
Capsules are more commonly usedMost are in tablet form


This video shows the mechanism of pain and how ibuprofen works.