Advil vs. Motrin

What's the Difference?

Advil and Motrin are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are commonly used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. They contain the same active ingredient, ibuprofen, and are available over-the-counter. The main difference between the two is the brand name and the manufacturer. While Advil is manufactured by Pfizer, Motrin is produced by Johnson & Johnson. Both medications are effective in treating various conditions such as headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and fever. However, individuals may have different preferences based on personal experiences or brand loyalty. Ultimately, the choice between Advil and Motrin may come down to individual preference or availability.


Brand NameAdvilMotrin
Active IngredientIbuprofenIbuprofen
UsesPain relief, fever reductionPain relief, fever reduction
Available Strengths200mg, 400mg, 600mg200mg, 400mg, 600mg
FormTablets, capsules, liquid gelsTablets, capsules, liquid gels
DosageVaries based on age and conditionVaries based on age and condition
Duration of Action4-6 hours4-6 hours
Side EffectsUpset stomach, heartburn, dizzinessUpset stomach, heartburn, dizziness
WarningsDo not exceed recommended dosageDo not exceed recommended dosage

Further Detail


When it comes to over-the-counter pain relievers, Advil and Motrin are two popular options that many people turn to for relief. Both medications belong to the same class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and contain the active ingredient ibuprofen. However, there are some differences in their attributes that may make one more suitable for certain individuals or specific conditions. In this article, we will explore and compare the various attributes of Advil and Motrin to help you make an informed decision about which medication may be the right choice for you.

1. Active Ingredient and Dosage

As mentioned earlier, both Advil and Motrin contain the same active ingredient, ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Both medications are available in various strengths, including regular strength (200mg) and extra strength (400mg). It is important to carefully read and follow the recommended dosage instructions provided on the packaging or as directed by a healthcare professional to ensure safe and effective use of these medications.

2. Branding and Packaging

Advil and Motrin are two different brand names for the same active ingredient, ibuprofen. Advil is manufactured by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, while Motrin is produced by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Despite the difference in branding, both medications are widely available and can be found in most pharmacies and retail stores. The packaging of Advil and Motrin may vary slightly, but they typically come in similar forms such as tablets, capsules, or liquid gels.

3. Indications and Uses

Advil and Motrin are both indicated for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to various conditions, including headache, toothache, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, and arthritis. They can also be used to reduce fever. However, it is important to note that these medications are not intended for long-term use or to treat chronic pain conditions. If you have any underlying health conditions or are unsure about the appropriate use of these medications, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional.

4. Onset and Duration of Action

Advil and Motrin have similar onset and duration of action due to their shared active ingredient, ibuprofen. When taken orally, both medications typically start to provide relief within 30 minutes to an hour. The effects of a single dose usually last for around 4 to 6 hours. However, it is important to remember that individual responses to medications may vary, and the duration of action can be influenced by factors such as metabolism, body weight, and the severity of the pain or inflammation being treated.

5. Side Effects and Precautions

While Advil and Motrin are generally considered safe when used as directed, they can potentially cause side effects, especially if taken in higher doses or for prolonged periods. Common side effects may include stomach upset, heartburn, dizziness, and headache. In rare cases, these medications can cause more serious side effects such as stomach bleeding, kidney problems, or allergic reactions. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and duration of use, and to seek medical attention if you experience any concerning symptoms or adverse reactions.

6. Availability and Cost

Advil and Motrin are widely available over-the-counter without a prescription. They can be found in most pharmacies, grocery stores, and online retailers. In terms of cost, both medications are generally priced competitively and are often offered in various package sizes to accommodate different needs. It is worth comparing prices and checking for any ongoing promotions or discounts to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.

7. Special Considerations

While Advil and Motrin are similar in many ways, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind. Advil offers a range of specialized products, such as Advil Liqui-Gels for faster absorption and Advil PM for nighttime pain relief and sleep aid. On the other hand, Motrin offers a line of products specifically formulated for children, including Motrin Infant Drops and Motrin Children's Chewable Tablets, which are available in lower doses suitable for pediatric use. These specialized options may be worth considering if you have specific needs or preferences.


In conclusion, Advil and Motrin are both effective over-the-counter pain relievers that contain the active ingredient ibuprofen. They share many similarities in terms of their active ingredient, dosage, indications, and side effects. The choice between Advil and Motrin may come down to personal preference, availability, cost, or the need for specialized products. It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided on the packaging, consult with a healthcare professional if needed, and use these medications responsibly to ensure safe and effective pain relief.

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