How Long After Taking Advil Can You Safely Take Aleve?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 22nd, 2023

If you’ve ever reached for over-the-counter pain relievers, you’ve likely encountered Advil and Aleve. Although both medications are staples in many medicine cabinets, combining them without proper knowledge can lead to complications. This article will equip you with the insights you need to use these medications safely and effectively.

Quick Answer: Wait At Least 10 Hours

It’s best to wait at least 10 hours between taking Advil and Aleve. Combining these two medications can escalate the risk of gastrointestinal issues.

advil and aleve

What Exactly Are Advil and Aleve?

Advil is the brand name for ibuprofen, while Aleve goes by the scientific name naproxen. Both belong to the class of drugs known as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). These medications are commonly prescribed to relieve inflammation, pain, and fever.

What Conditions Do Advil and Aleve Treat?

Both Advil and Aleve are useful for a range of conditions such as:

  • Muscle pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis, including gout and osteoarthritis

Commonalities and Differences Between Advil and Aleve


Both Advil and Aleve are considered non-selective NSAIDs, meaning they inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, which play a role in inflammation. They also share a common classification as propionic acids based on their chemical structure.


Advil contains 200 mg of ibuprofen per tablet, while each Aleve tablet contains 220 mg of naproxen sodium.

Dosing Schedules

Advil is effective for 4-8 hours, while Aleve lasts for 8-12 hours. This leads to different dosing recommendations for each medication:

  • Advil: Adults and children over 12 can take one tablet every 4-6 hours. If needed, a second tablet may be taken. A maximum of six tablets should be consumed within 24 hours unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.
  • Aleve: One tablet is recommended every 8-12 hours. Two tablets can be taken within the first hour for the initial dose. The daily limit is three tablets within a 24-hour period unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider.

Side Effects

Advil is generally gentler on the stomach compared to Aleve, making it a preferable option for those with ulcers or acid reflux. Conversely, Aleve is more likely to cause a type of light sensitivity known as pseudoporphyria.

Should You Mix Advil and Aleve?

In a word, no. Since both medications target the same enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2), combining them offers no benefits and increases the risk of side effects, such as:

  • Diminished kidney function
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Impaired blood clotting

The Risks of Mixing Advil and Aleve

Taking both medications simultaneously won’t enhance pain relief but may increase the risk of adverse effects. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider if either medication alone doesn’t alleviate your symptoms. Your discomfort could be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue.

When Can You Take Aleve After Advil?

You should wait at least 10 hours after taking Advil before you take Aleve, and the reverse is true as well. The advised gap aligns with the 8-12 hour duration of action for both drugs.

Why Is There a 10-Hour Gap Between Taking Advil and Aleve?

Both Advil and Aleve are potent medications that should be used judiciously. They require time to work after initial consumption, and once their effects wane, you can safely take another dose. Taking them together, however, can cause adverse reactions.

FDA Recommendations

The Food and Drug Administration has approved both drugs for various purposes, even though they share similar mechanisms. For example, Advil is recommended for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and fever, while Aleve may be the first choice for someone with arthritis, pain, or tendinitis.

Duration of Effects

Advil’s effects last approximately 4-8 hours, necessitating another dose to maintain relief. Aleve, on the other hand, may offer relief for up to 10-12 hours and is usually taken twice daily if needed.

Potential Side Effects

Both medications come with their own set of risks, including kidney issues, cardiovascular problems, and digestive issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new medication.


Using Advil and Aleve responsibly can be a game-changer for managing various kinds of pain and inflammation. However, these medications are not to be mixed without the guidance of a healthcare professional. Doing so can lead to a host of issues, from gastrointestinal bleeding to impaired kidney function. As always, when in doubt, consult a healthcare provider to find the safest and most effective treatment for your specific condition.


Editorial Staff

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