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Whats The Difference Between Tylenol And Advil

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Which One Works For Longer

Whats the Difference Between Aspirin, Advil, and Tylenol & Which Should I Use When?

Tylenol and Advil both work for a similar length of time

Tylenol is short acting with a relatively quick onset of action. Pain-relieving effects last for three to four hours however, it is important Tylenol is not taken more often than every four to six hours, and the maximum of 4000mg per day is not exceeded. In some cases a lower maximum dose should not be exceeded.

Advil is a short-acting NSAID, with a relatively quick onset of action. Pain-relieving effects last for approximately four hours. Like Tylenol, it is better suited for the treatment of acute pain. Ibuprofen tablets/capsules can be given every four to six hours. If you are taking Advil over-the-counter, the maximum recommended daily dose is 1200mg. Do not take more Advil than recommended without consulting your doctor.

How To Alternate Between Ibuprofen And Acetaminophen For A Childs Fever

In cases of persistent fever, some parents may opt to alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen to reduce a childs discomfort. When the fever is high, the medication might not bring the childs temperature down to a normal body temperature, and thats ok as long as the temperature comes down a little and the child is comfortable. Dr. Hong recommends that parents first consult with their pediatrician for advice about the causes of a persistent fever. After receiving the doctors OK, here is an example of how a parent might alternate between these two medications:

Noon The child has a fever and the parent gives the proper dose of ibuprofen.

1 p.m. The child still has a fever, the parent may opt to give a proper dose of acetaminophen.

2 p.m. The child still has a fever. However, because four hours havent passed since the first dose of acetaminophen and six hours havent passed since the first dose of ibuprofen , no more medication can be given. Try other methods to help such as laying a cold washcloth on the childs forehead.

3 p.m. If the child still has a fever, its still too soon for more medication: Four hours havent passed since the first dose of acetaminophen and six hours havent passed since the first dose of ibuprofen , no more medication can be given. Try other methods to help such as laying a cold washcloth on the childs forehead.

Parents should not hesitate to contact the pediatrician if a child continues to have a persistent fever.

Are Ibuprofen And Acetaminophen The Same Thing

Tylenol and Motrin are pain relievers and fever reducers used for treating pain and fever associated with many conditions.

Motrin is also used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

The drugs belong to different drug classes. Tylenol is an analgesic and antipyretic and Motrin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug .

Side effects of Tylenol and Motrin that are similar include nausea, stomach pain, skinitching or rash, and headache.

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Acetaminophen Vs Ibuprofen: A Guide For Parents

November 30, 2021 March 9, 2022

Dr. Ericka Hong, a CHOC pediatrician, explains the differences between acetaminophen and ibuprofen and how to administer it safely.

Acetaminophen commonly known as the brand Tylenol and ibuprofen commonly known as the brand Motrin or Advil are both over-the-counter medicines taken to relieve fever, aches and pain. They are both safe when used correctly, but too high a dose can make children very sick.

But what else is different about these two medications, and what should parents know when using these drugs? In this guide, Dr. Ericka Hong, a pediatrician in the CHOC Primary Care Network, helps explain the differences between acetaminophen and ibuprofen and how parents can administer it safely.

What Is The Correct Ibuprofen Dosage For Children

Tylenol vs Advil

Dr. Hong recommends using a childs weight instead of age when figuring out how much medicine to give. This table is based on experts and the manufacturers recommendations. It is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Before giving your child a dose, check the label to ensure the recommended dosage and concentration agree with the numbers below.

Ibuprofen of any form is not recommended for infants younger than 6 months old. Additional doses should be given no more frequently than every 6 hours. Consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about giving ibuprofen, Dr. Hong says.

Childs Weight

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Can They Be Taken Together

A person should not take Advil PM and Tylenol PM together.

Both medications contain diphenhydramine. Both product labels also recommend not taking them with other tranquilizers or sleep aids.

If a person experiences trouble sleeping or continued pain after taking either medication, they should talk to their doctor. They may be able to recommend a different solution.

Before using Advil PM, people should consult a doctor or pharmacist if they also take the following medications:

  • another sedative or sleep aid
  • another medicine that contains an antihistamine
  • aspirin for heart attack prevention

Before taking Tylenol PM, people should also speak with a doctor or pharmacist if they use blood thinners or other sedatives.

A person should not take Tylenol PM with other medications that contain acetaminophen or diphenhydramine.

In addition, Advil PM and Tylenol PM may interact with other drugs. People should talk to their doctor if they take other prescription medications to make sure they can safely take these products.

What Are The Risks Of Taking Tylenol And Advil

In some people, acetaminophen can cause adverse events like skin reactions and allergic reactions. Symptoms may include rash, hives, peeling or blistering skin, itching, swelling of the face, hands, or feet, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Possible side effects of ibuprofen include nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, and ringing in the ears.

Risks of taking ibuprofen and other drugs in the NSAID class include peptic ulcer disease and stomach bleeding. NSAIDs can also increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

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Aspirin Aka Bayer Bufferin

The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid which inhibits the body of prostaglandins, concentrated substances where we feel pain. Prostaglandins increase the perception of pain, fever, redness and inflammation that may occupancy injuries. In short, aspirin reacts with your blood chemistry to inhibit the volume of prostaglandins. Aspirin is most often used to relieve minor pain, fever and inflammation, but it does have a unique set of drawbacks.

Drawbacks may include: disruption to the upper digestive tract NOT recommended for hemophiliacs because of its anticoagulant or for children .

That being said, aspirin is still the most common over-the-counter pain reliever and now plays a huge role in the prevention of heart disease.

The Top Medication Has Been Around For Decades

Can I Take Tylenol and Advil Together?

The Health Digest poll results include responses from 583 participants. Of those, 36.19% said their preferred choice of pain medication was Tylenol, while 29.33% choose Advil. Around an eighth of those polled said Aleve is their go-to for pain, followed by 12.35% who choose Motrin. The remainder of those polled, accounting for 2.92%, reach for Alka-Seltzer to relieve pain.

While over-the-counter pain relievers are relatively safe to use when you follow the manufacturer’s directions, the Cleveland Clinic reports that some can have negative side effects, including peptic ulcers and problems with your kidneys and liver. Because many types of medications including those that treat allergies and colds can contain pain relievers, it’s important to read labels to avoid taking too much. You should visit your healthcare provider if you experience vision problems, shortness of breath, slurred speech, blood in your urine, or a severe stomach ache while taking pain medication.

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What Acetaminophen And Ibuprofen Are Best Suited For

Both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are anti-pyretic . However, some studies indicate that ibuprofen has a slight edge in this area.

Ibuprofen is also better for certain types of pain and inflammation back pain, menstrual cramps, sore muscles, toothaches and earaches. A review published in the British Medical Journal concluded that:

  • paracetamol is ineffective in reducing pain and disability or improving quality of life in patients with low back pain.
  • paracetamol offers a small but not clinically important benefit for pain and disability reduction in patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis
  • patients taking paracetamol are nearly four times more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests compared with those taking oral placebo

Tylenol is preferred for headaches and arthritis pain.

What Are The Main Differences Between Acetaminophen And Ibuprofen

Acetaminophenknown by the brand-name Tylenolis an analgesic and antipyretic medication. The exact way in which acetaminophen works is unknown, but it is believed to act on certain receptors in the brain involved with the sensation of pain. It also works on the temperature-regulating area of the brain to reduce fever. Unlike NSAIDs, acetaminophen does not have anti-inflammatory effects and may not work as well for inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ibuprofen is an NSAID that can be used for pain, inflammation, and fever. Common brand names of ibuprofen include Motrin and Advil. Ibuprofen is a nonselective COX enzyme inhibitor that blocks the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause inflammation. Because of its effects on the COX enzymes, the use of ibuprofen carries a risk of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects.

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Know The Difference Between Your Pain Relievers

Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen? Whats the difference

This may come as a surprise to some, but not all pain relievers are the same. In fact, the difference between many over-the-counter pain relievers can have various effects on your body.

People sometimes refer to a specific over-the-counter medication Tylenol, aspirin, Advil, etc.even if they dont have a specific brand in mind. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers all three effective for the same minor aches and pains. Each can reduce fever and relieve headache, muscle aches, menstrual pain, toothache, and similar discomfortalthough they differ in their effectiveness against certain of these symptoms.

Drug Interactions Of Acetaminophen And Ibuprofen


Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can interact with warfarin , a common blood thinner. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen with warfarin may increase the risk of bleeding. Drinking alcohol with acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.

Acetaminophen can interact with isoniazid, an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis. Taking isoniazid can affect how the liver processes acetaminophen and may cause liver damage. Phenytoin and carbamazepine are anticonvulsant drugs that can also increase the risk of liver injury when taken with acetaminophen.

Ibuprofen may interact with more drugs than acetaminophen. Ibuprofen, like other NSAIDs, can increase blood pressure, which can interfere with the effects of blood pressure medications. Certain antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with ibuprofen.

Other drug interactions are possible. Speak with a healthcare provider for more information about possible drug interactions with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

No Yes

This may not be a complete list of all possible drug interactions. Consult a doctor about all the medications you may be taking.

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Can I Use Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen While Pregnant

Acetaminophen is considered safer than ibuprofen for pregnant women. Ibuprofen should be avoided in pregnant women due to the risks of adverse effects. The FDA recommends against the use of an NSAID in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later. Consult with a healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking a pain reliever.

What’s The Difference Between Tylenol Advil And Aspirin Which Is The Best To Take For Pain

I used to take acetaminophen for the occasional headache or sore muscle, mostly because that’s what we used in my house growing up. I didn’t think much about whether it was more or less effective than any other type of over-the-counter pain reliever, and I suspect the same is true for many folks. Acetaminophen, after all, is the most popular over-the-counter painkiller worldwide.

So I was surprised when I found out there’s a huge gap between how pain researchers think about this drug and how the public does. More specifically, every researcher I contacted for this piece said some variation of what Andrew Moore, a pain researcher at Oxford University, told me: Tylenol doesn’t actually work that well for pain. To be more exact, he said, “I can’t imagine why anybody would take acetaminophen.”

Moore has done a number of systematic reviews on over-the-counter pain medications, looking at all the available evidence to figure out which ones work best for various problems. I asked him to describe the overall success rates for the most common three: acetaminophen , ibuprofen , and aspirin.

Now, Moore was referring here to acute pain that strikes after a specific event, like a surgery, a cut, or a burn, but his message was simple: Ibuprofen seems to work best, followed by acetaminophen, and then aspirin.

For ongoing pain a sore lower back, say, or the kind of degenerative arthritis that typically develops with age ibuprofen still outperforms acetaminophen.

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How To Take Them Safely

  • Laura Dean, MD. Comparing NSAIDs. Pubmed Clinical Q & A.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : Making safer treatment choices BPAC NZ
  • Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists’ Collaboration, Bhala N, Emberson J, Merhi A, et al. Vascular and upper gastrointestinal effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: meta-analyses of individual participant data from randomized trials. Lancet. 2013 Aug 31 382:769-79. doi: 10.1016/S0140-673660900-9. Epub 2013 May 30.
  • Advil . Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Revised 06/2010
  • Ibuprofen Revised 07/2015 Alivio Medical Products, LLC
  • Ong CKS, Lirk P, Tan CH, Seymour RA. An Evidence-Based Update on Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Clin Med Res. 2007 Mar 5: 19â34. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2007.698
  • Acetaminophen Revised 03/2011 Remedy repack INC.
  • Zhang, W. et al.OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage:18:476-99
  • Roberts E, Delgado Nunes V, Buckner S, et al. Paracetamol: not as safe as we thought? A systematic literature review of observational studies. Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206914
  • Ibuprofen Aka Motrin Advil

    What Are the Pros and Cons of Ibuprofen for Swelling

    Ibuprofen and aspirin seem to work the same way in the body because both inhibit the production of prostaglandins, hormone like chemicals involved in causing pain and inflammation. Because of these effects it is widely used for arthritis and menstrual pains. Similar to acetaminophen, Ibuprofen can play a role in stomach upset, the most common side effect of both aspirin and ibuprofen. Because ibuprofen inhibits prostaglandins which exert a protective effect on the stomach lining, it increases the chances of stomach upset. However, ibuprofen is a happy medium on the stomach-upset scale between aspirin and Tylenol .

    When comparing pain relievers it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Unless you have certain diseases, conditions, or pregnant, most individuals wont go wrong with any of the three pain relievers .

    In general, anyone who should avoid aspirin for any reason should also avoid ibuprofenand vice versa. Both drugs generally work the same way with similar side effects. Always read the dosage instruction on over-the-counter medications and consult your doctor if you have questions. If you need help finding a doctor, let us help you make an appointment.

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    Can I Use Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen With Alcohol

    No. Drinking alcohol with acetaminophen or ibuprofen can increase the risk of adverse effects. Alcohol can disrupt the lining of the stomach and intestines, increasing the risk of stomach ulcers. Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of stomach ulcers from acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In addition, heavy, chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of liver damage. Combining alcohol with acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be avoided.

    Does Acetaminophen Have Side Effects

    Acetaminophen can cause an allergic reaction in your body. The signs of an acetaminophen allergy are swelling in the face, tongue, throat, and lips. You may also develop hives or have difficulty breathing.

    In some rare cases, the painkiller may have a lethal skin reaction. This is even possible if you have never had an adverse reaction to the drug in the past. If you experience blistering, rash, redness, or peeling on your skin, talk to your doctor right away and stop taking the medicine.

    Some other side effects of acetaminophen are:

    • Headaches and dizziness

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    Make Sure You Have The Proper Dosage

    Regardless of what medication you select for your needs, make sure you follow the dosage recommendations. Often, individuals take these medications when they have aches and pains during cold and flu season. Unfortunately, the active ingredients in Tylenol and Advil are often found in other cold and cough medications. To avoid double dosing, make sure you read the packaging and talk to your doctor. It is possible to overdose, and it can be dangerous for your stomach, kidney, and liver.

    Properties Of Otc Pain Relievers

    What is the difference between Advil, Tylenol and Aleve ...

    The four main OTC pain drugs on the market are:

    Each one has both benefits and risks. While their general function is more or less the sameto alleviate paintheir mechanism of action and how they’re best used does vary. The reasons for using them can include some or all of the following:

    • To relieve a headache
    • To reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints or muscles
    • To relieve pain from injury or nerve damage
    • To lower a fever
    • To lessen some of the symptomssuch as sinus painof allergies, colds, or the flu

    The choice of drug depends largely on the condition you need to treat and the potential problems that may prevent you from using a particular product.

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