There are many great medications that can be bought over the counter for aches and pains. Visiting the pharmacy or the mall to buy something for a headache or muscle pain saves time and an appointment with a physician. But which tablet is best for what? When should you go for the Tylenol and when would Advil be more effective? Here’s a lowdown on what to take when and why.
Advil and Tylenol are both used to reduce fevers and relieve pain. Whilst they might seem the same there are significant differences. Advil also has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat joint and bone pains. The active ingredient in Advil is Ibuprofen whist in Tylenol it is Acetaminophen. Both drugs work in similar ways but there are significant differences. Advil inhibits the production of cyclooxygenases or COX-1 and COX-2. These in turn inhibit prostaglandins which get produced by the boy when there is an injury or inflammation. Tylenol works in a similar way but is a weaker inhibitor. This does not mean Advil should be used over Tylenol on that basis alone. They have different uses. Both are metabolised by the liver and excreted by the kidneys.
One of the most important things to consider is pregnancy and when or when not to take medication. Tylenol is a safe drug to take whilst there are risks with Advil. What about side effects? Well, with Tylenol these are minimal with the occasional skin rash. Advil has a slightly different story with bleeding ulcers, heartburn, and constipation amongst the side effects. For this reason Tylenol is a milder pain killer to take and with less side effects. However if you need something stronger then Advil generally does the trick as its anti-inflammatory properties are a lot stronger. It is vital with both drugs and especially Advil that the maximum 24 hour dosage is not exceeded as this increases the possibility of toxic side effects which can include hearing loss as well as bleeding. Tylenol has recently found to blunt an emotional response from those taking it. Prolonged use of either of these two drugs can lead to serious side effects and long term toxicity. They are aimed at short term problems so if you find yourself on them for longer than you think it is time to consult a physician.
Some people believe that Advil and Tylenol are interchangeable to relieve pain. This is far from the case as they work in a very similar way and can cause a build-up of toxins quickly. It is far better to consult a physician for unrelieved pain than to take medication with a limited ability to work. In summary if you have mild pain, or are pregnant then go for the Tylenol. If that muscular pain is strong then Advil may do the trick. If you are not getting any relief from these pain killers then go see a doctor for some professional advice.