Have you ever had a common cold accompanied by a fever and headache? Maybe it was that time of the month, and you experienced painful cramps. Is it okay to grab any over-the-counter medication and pop a couple of pills? No. They are not all created equal.

When it comes to pain medication, Tylenol probably comes to mind. The active ingredient and generic name is acetaminophen. Advil, on the other hand, is ibuprofen. Aleve is naproxen.

While Advil and Aleve are both in the same drug category as no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), they have slightly different benefits and side effects. To put it plainly, Aleve may last hours longer but has the adverse effect of photosensitivity or sensitivity to light. Keep reading to learn more about naproxen including its uses, side effects, and warnings.

1. What is Naproxen?

Naproxen is the generic version of brand-name drugs like Anaprox, Mediproxen, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. The popular drug Aleve is a brand-name for naproxen as well as Midol Extended Relief and many others you can find in the over-the-counter section. While the generic version generally costs less, it may not have the same strengths as a name-brand equivalent. Naproxen is available as a tablet or liquid suspension, both of which are taken orally.