Difference Between Aspirin and Ibuprofen

Aspirin and ibuprofen are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They are both frequently used to relieve pain by reducing hormones which regulate pain related responses. Aspirin belongs to salicylate group of drugs while ibuprofen is not. Both have very similar characteristics, and in certain areas slight differences can be observed.


Aspirin is an acetylsalicylic acid frequently prescribed for aches and pains, rheumatic pain, muscular pain, menstrual pain, and fever. It is also used as a blood thinner when used in minor doses for patients with heart attack or stroke risk. Aspirin is available as a chewable tablet or enteric coated tablet, and its daily dosage for an average adult is maximum 4g. A person should not use aspirin if he/she has asthma, bleeding disorders, liver disease, stomach ulcers, nasal polyps, heart diseases etc. Alcohol consumption should also be avoided because it tends to increase stomach bleeding.

People should not take aspirin and ibuprofen simultaneously because ibuprofen reduces aspirin’s effectiveness towards protecting the heart and vessels. A pregnant or breast feeding mother always should avoid aspirin intake because it can harm the baby’s heart, reduce birth weight, and cause other harmful effects.

Aspirin has several side effects such as severe nausea, coughing blood, vomiting, black bloody stools, fever for days, heartburn, dizziness etc. One should be careful if giving aspirin to a child or a teen, especially when he/she is suffering from fever. For some children aspirin can be fatal and this condition is called Reye’s syndrome. In a situation of overdosing, people experience dizziness, headaches, rapid breathing, hallucinations, fever etc.


Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) reduces hormones which regulate inflammation and pain related responses. Ibuprofen is available as a tablet, chewable tablet, and oral suspension. It is prescribed for the same medical conditions except for those related to blood thinning. Ibuprofen intake should be carefully monitored because overdose and certain medical conditions may have negative impacts on the patient. In a case of overdose, ibuprofen cause severe damages to stomach and intestine. Therefore, an adult should not exceed the limits 3200mg per day and 800mg per intake. It is safe to avoid ibuprofen or ask for medical advice if a person is taking aspirin, anti-depressants, water pills, heart or blood pressure medicine, steroids etc. or is smoking and drinking alcohol.

Taking ibuprofen during pregnancy has shown to harm the baby. Although studies show that ibuprofen passes through breast milk, any harm to the nursing baby hasn’t been observed.

Aspirin vs Ibuprofen

• Aspirin is a salicylic acid derived drug but ibuprofen is not a salicylic acid derived drug.

• Aspirin can cause thinning of blood, but ibuprofen does not cause thinning of blood.

• Aspirin in low dosages are prescribed to people with heart attack or stroke risk but ibuprofen is not.

• Aspirin has shown harmful effects to both unborn babies and nursing babies, but ibuprofen has shown harmful effects on unborn babies, but effects on nursing babies are not confirmed.