Difference between Aspirin and Advil

December 28, 2016 by Editorial Team

Headaches and body pains are probably the most recurrent discomforts many people experience. There are various ways of dealing with these ailments. Some people resort to traditional treatments while others prefer to pop a pill for quick relief. This is where aspirin and Advil come into play. These are the most common types of medicine used to treat the usual headaches and body pains. But how is aspirin different from Advil? Read on and discover the differences between the two.


Aspirin vs Advil
Aspirin comes in white or light-colored pills

Aspirin is a medicine often used to treat headaches, migraines, fevers and pain. Its generic name is acetylsalicylic acid. It is made from willow bark extract and other salicylate-rich plants. It can be bought over the counter and is considered a “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug” (NSAID). Apirin also treats inflammation. It thins the blood and prevents it from forming clots. Hence, the drug reduces the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks. Originally, it was the company Bayer who came up with the name “aspirin.” Through the years, Bayer lost the trademark rights. Now, “aspirin” is considered a generic name. This medicine gives immediate relief since it is rapidly and completely absorbed by the body. Some people, however, experience side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and allergic reactions. Aspirin may be taken orally, rectally or administered through an IV (intravenous).

Advil usually comes in brown or dark-colored pills

Advil is a brand name of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is mostly made up of ibuprofen. The generic name is isobutylphenyl propionic acid. Ibuprofen was discovered in 1961 by a chemist named Stewart Adams. Later on, it was marketed using different trade names such as Advil. Advil is also an over-the-counter drug used to address pain. It is very effective in relieving muscle cramps, bloating and irritation. The medicine has a 49-73% absorption level as it is circulated within the body. Adverse effects of Advil include gastrointestinal bleeding, headaches, dizziness or even rashes. Advil can be taken through oral, rectal or IV routes. In certain countries like Japan, it is also sold in topical form as a treatment for acne.

Aspirin vs Advil

What is the difference between aspirin and Advil? Though they are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Aspirin’s active ingredient is acetylsalicylic acid. Advil is mostly made up of ibuprofen or isobutylphenyl propionic acid. Aspirin is also used as a blood thinner to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Advil, on the other hand, is more effective in relieving muscle pain, bloating and irritation. Both medicines can be administered through oral, rectal and IV routes. However, Advil also comes in topical form. When taken, aspirin is rapidly and completely utilized by the body whereas only 49-73% of Advil is absorbed into the system.

Comparison Chart

Aspirin Advil
Active ingredient is acetylsalicylic acidActive ingredient is isobutylphenyl propionic acid
Used as a blood thinner to prevent stroke and heart attackEffective relief from muscle pains, bloating and irritation
Can be given through oral, rectal or IV routesCan be given through oral, rectal, IV, and topical routes
Rapid and complete absorption by the body49-73% absorption