Prescriptions

How Much Does Ibuprofen Cost in 2021?

Alexis Bryan25 Oct 2021

The average retail price for 30 tablets of 800 milligrams (mg) generic ibuprofen is $13.39, but a bottle of ibuprofen can cost anywhere from $2 to $31 depending on the type of pill, the brand, dosage, quantity, and where you buy it. Higher doses of ibuprofen are often prescribed by doctors and cannot be purchased over the counter.

Ibuprofen is typically covered by insurance and Medicare. If you are uninsured and need to fill a prescription, a membership with Mira can get you up to 80% off the retail price. Sign up today and get access to low-cost urgent care visits and lab testing in addition to prescription discounts!

The Cost of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is one of the most popular over-the-counter pain relievers on the market today and is available over the counter. Ibuprofen works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals made in your body that cause inflammation. It also helps to reduce inflammation and any associated pain.”

The proper dose of ibuprofen for adults, regardless of brand, is 200 to 400 mg every four to six hours. The most common form is in capsules (also called Liqui-Gels or Softgels) and tablets. Coated tablets are preferred by people with sensitive stomachs. The table below lists the price of 200mg Ibuprofen by pharmacy and form.

Cost of 100 Tablets of Generic Ibuprofen, 200mg by Pharmacy in 2021

PharmacyBrandCountPrice
Rite AidRite Aid100$1.99
CVSCVS100$8.49
WalgreensWalgreens100$5.99
WalmartEquate100$1.98

Cost of High Dose Ibuprofen

Generic ibuprofen is generally available as ibuprofen 200 mg tablets, 400 mg tablets, 600 mg tablets, and 800 mg tablets. For people who get severe headaches, or have an acute injury, a higher dose of ibuprofen may work best. The chart below reflects the cost of 30 tablets of 800mg generic ibuprofen.

Cost of Generic Ibuprofen by Pharmacy (30 count, 800mg)

PharmacyIbuprofen Retail Price
CVS Pharmacy$12.00
Walmart$8.16
Walgreens$15.65
Kroger Pharmacy$14.32
Albertsons Pharmacy$25.35
Rite Aid Pharmacy$30.39

Source: GoodRx

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Cost of Advil 200mg Liqui-Gels by Pharmacy and Quantity

PharmacyFormQuantityPrice
Rite AidLiqui-Gels20$3.99
 Liqui-Gels Minis20$3.99
 Liqui-Gels Minis160$16.49
CVSLiqui-Gels20$4.99
 Liqui-Gels40$7.99
 Liqui-Gels80$12.99
 Liqui-Gels200$23.99
WalgreensLiqui-Gels Minis20$4.79
 Liqui-Gels Minis80$11.49
 Liqui-Gels Minis160$17.99
 Liqui-Gels160$17.99
 Liqui-Gels200$20.99
WalmartLiqui-Gels 160$19.06

Cost of Ibuprofen vs. Brand name (Advil & Motrin IB)

Brand names of ibuprofen include Advil and Motrin IB. The chart below compares the cost of brand name versions and generic ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen vs. Advil vs. Motrin IB Cost (100 count, 200mg)

PharmacyGeneric IbuprofenAdvilMotrin
CVS Pharmacy$8.29$10.29$11.49
Walmart$1.98$9.26$8.38
Walgreens$5.99$9.29$10.49
Kroger Pharmacy$2.89$8.99$8.38
Rite Aid Pharmacy$1.99$9.49$8.99

How Ibuprofen is Used

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs are used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and bring down a high temperature. Ibuprofen temporarily relieves minor aches and pains due to: 

  • headache
  • minor pain of arthritis
  • the common cold
  • muscular aches
  • fever
  • backache
  • toothache
  • menstrual cramps

Forms and Strengths of Ibuprofen

Dr. Taylor Graber, MD, provides us insight into all of the forms of ibuprofen. There are many different forms of Ibuprofen in the marketplace. They are most frequently found in 200mg per tablet but can be manufactured in dosages up to 800mg per tablet. Below is an exhaustive list of forms and manufacturers of ibuprofen commonly found at pharmacies:

Oral Tablet:

  • Addaprin: 200 mg
  • Advil: 100mg (Junior Strength) or 200 mg (Regular Strength)
  • Dyspel: 200 mg
  • Genpril: 200 mg
  • GoodSense Ibuprofen: 200 mg
  • Motrin: 200 mg
  • Provil: 200 mg
  • Generic Ibuprofen: 200mg, 400mg, 600mg, 800mg

Oral Capsules:

  • Advil: 200 mg
  • GoodSense Ibuprofen: 200 mg
  • KS Ibuprofen: 200 mg
  • Motrin: 200 mg
  • Generic: 200 mg

Oral Chewable Tablet:

  • Advil: 100mg (Junior Strength)
  • Motrin: 100mg (Children's Strength)

Ways to Save on Ibuprofen

Even though ibuprofen is not an expensive drug, the cost can add up if you are sharing the bottle with family, or need to take it often. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of ibuprofen.

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Buy a Generic Alternative

As shown in the tables above, the generic versions of ibuprofen cost less, and sometimes much less, than brand-name Advil and Motrin. Not every medication offers a generic alternative, but you should consider looking for them whenever you go to the pharmacy to save money.

Use Your Flexible Savings Account

If you have a Flexible Savings Account (FSA), through your health insurance plan, you may be able to use the funds to pay for ibuprofen. Your insurance provider will have a list of eligible medications you can use your FSA funds for. Before going to the pharmacy, check the details of your coverage to make sure ibuprofen is FSA eligible.

Look for Coupons Online

Sites such as RxSaver, GoodRx, and WebMD offer search engines to help you find coupons for ibuprofen at many pharmacies near you. These websites can be used to find coupons for other medications as well.

Join a Membership Program

If you are uninsured or have a high deductible, care membership plans can be a good option. Companies like Mira offer discounts on prescription drugs alongside other benefits to help you access affordable care.

Ibuprofen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The cost of ibuprofen in 2021 varies by a number of factors including dose, brand, and where you buy it. Our research team answers a few related questions below.

How can I save money on prescription drugs?

Drugs are expensive and if you need multiple, the costs can add up quickly. Before going to the pharmacy, call your doctor or pharmacy to ask if there are generic versions available. You can also use your FSA if you have one, or join a discount drug membership program to access exclusive discounts. Check out our article for additional tips on how to save money on prescription drugs.

What is the difference between ibuprofen and acetaminophen?

Both ibuprofen and acetaminophen, commonly known as Advil and Tylenol, are used to reduce fever and pain. The difference between ibuprofen and acetaminophen is that ibuprofen is an NSAID and acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics. 

Each drug type has its own share of side effects. Ibuprofen can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Bleeding or ulceration of the stomach (mainly in the elderly)

Acetaminophen generally has fewer side effects but can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

When should I take Ibuprofen?

According to Hsu, “You should use ibuprofen for treating acute (short-term) pain caused by only a few days or weeks of inflammation or soreness. Ibuprofen can also be used to treat feverish conditions like colds, flu, and ear infection.

Doctors prescribe ibuprofen to help reduce fever, swelling, and pain. However, there are many possible side effects of this drug. You should never take Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin if you have asthma, high blood pressure (hypertension), kidney disease, stomach ulcer, or bleeding problems.”

Bottom Line

Ibuprofen is relatively inexpensive compared to other prescription drugs because there are generic alternatives. Most pharmacies carry their own brand of ibuprofen as well as brand-name Advil and Motrin.

The cost of prescription drugs can add up, but Mira can help you get up to 80% off. With memberships starting at just $25 per month, members can access low-cost urgent care visits, affordable lab testing too. Sign up today and get started!