Tylenol vs Advil, both medications help treat the same medical conditions; the only difference between them is that they are from different medication groups. To help you understand the difference between Tylenol and Ibuprofen, you should read this article on acetaminophen (tylenol) vs ibuprofen (advil).
Why Do Doctors Prescribe Tylenol and Advil?
Both medications are OTC, over-the-counter medicines that the doctors prescribe for treating pain and fever. The medications work by blocking prostaglandins; these substances have various functions when we suffer from an injury or illness. Advil also can help to treat inflammation as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. On the other hand, Tylenol is not from the same medical family as Advil and is not considered an anti-inflammatory medication.
As both medications can help treat similar medical conditions such as headaches and other mild pain and aches. Tylenol and Advil are both short-acting medications, meaning that the patient shall take this medicine multiple times a day. Doctors prescribe these medications commonly. They both also share some similar and different side effects. Both ingredients of the medicine are different and work in different ways.
Acetaminophen Versus Ibuprofen: What Are They?
Wondering what is the difference between ibuprofen and acetaminophen? Here is a quick sneak peek ofon the two.
The name Acetaminophen is the generic name of the famous Tylenol, a generic version of the medication that is the main ingredient of the medicine. In other words, it is the active ingredients that provide the primary effects of the medication. You may use various medications generally but may not know that these medications share the same active ingredient. Below are some of the common brand versions of Acetaminophen:
As mentioned earlier, this medicine is from the medication group known as NSAID that helps relax and relieve pain and helps with inflammation. Ibuprofen is also the generic version of the famous Advil medication. There are also various brand versions of Ibuprofen in the United States, such as:
- Motrin IB
- Midol IB
If you wonder about Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen for headaches, it is better to get your doctor’s approval before using either of the medications. Your doctor will prescribe the medication based on the severity of the headache. In most cases, both medications may not be able to provide satisfactory results. For this reason, in a comparison between Ibuprofen vs Acetaminophen for headaches, you should consult with the doctor to prescribe the medicine according to your medical need.
What Is the Difference Between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen?
In a comparison between Tylenol vs Ibuprofen regarding how both medications work, there are significant differences.
This medicine does not help to treat inflammation like Ibuprofen. Experts do not have a precise answer on how this medicine works. According to the experts, Acetaminophen works by affecting the COX enzymes in the brain, which reduces the formation of prostaglandins.
Even though this medicine affects COX enzymes, doctors do not consider this medicine an NSAID. In various parts of the world, Acetaminophen is also known as Paracetamol. There is also some off-label use of Acetaminophen. Doctors also prescribe this medicine for migraines, arthritis, and painful menstruation.
This medicine is an NSAID because it works by blocking COX-2 enzymes. This enzyme is usually associated with pain signaling and inflammation. It also affects COX-1 enzymes that are associated with a protective effect on the stomach lining. For this particular reason, Ibuprofen is effective in treating pain and reducing inflammation.
The research concluded that both medications could treat patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. It is a major vessel in the infant heart that usually closes after birth. However, in some infants, this major blood vessel remains open and causes heart conditions. Doctors prescribed NSAIDs such as Advil for treating this medical condition.
Which Is Better Tylenol or Ibuprofen?
Wondering acetaminophen(tylenol) vs ibuprofen(advil) and which is better? In a comparison between Ibuprofen vs Acetaminophen for fever, both medications will provide similar effects. Both Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen begin to work around the same time after consuming the medication, and the medication’s effects last for about 4-6 hours.
In terms of Tylenol vs Ibuprofen for pain, Acetaminophen does help to treat pain and fever but is not effective against inflammation. For medical conditions such as cramps and muscle pain, Ibuprofen is better.
Regarding chronic pain, Ibuprofen is more effective, and another study concluded that Acetaminophen is better for providing pain relief.
What Are the Side Effects of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen?
Most people consider Acetaminophen to be free from side effects. However, research indicated that assumption and concluded that using this medicine in higher dosages can cause severe side effects. The side effects include increased heart attack risks, GI bleeding and ulcers, and adverse side effects on the kidney. Using Acetaminophen for more than 13 weeks can also decrease hemoglobin. It is the oxygen that carries the blood components.
Doctors still consider Acetaminophen to be safer than NSAIDs for elderly or weak users. This medicine has a narrower safety window than Ibuprofen, and you should take this medicine only on the prescribed dosage. You should reduce or increase the dosages as they can significantly affect the body and damage the liver.
NSAID medications such as Ibuprofen all come with a risk of GI, kidney, and cardiovascular side effects. It is less likely than many other NSAIDs to cause side effects on GI because this medicine is a short-acting medication. Lower dosages of this medicine carry less risk of causing severe cardiovascular side effects such as a stroke or heart attack.
In contrast, higher dosages can cause these side effects. People with heart conditions or those who have had a stroke in their lifetime should consult with a physician before using any type of NSAID. People after coronary artery bypass graft surgery should not use NSAIDs. Ibuprofen can also cause allergic-type reactions and may interact with other medications such as diuretics, warfarin, aspirin, dabigatran, etc.
A study found that the hospitalization risks for GI events increased when they used the combined version of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. However, most doctors and health care experts consider using the combined medication as long as they use it according to their prescription and for a short time.
How to Use Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen?
For Acetaminophen, the most common dose for the average healthy adult is no more than 400mg a day. However, it is better to know that 400mg of medication can be dangerous to the liver. People who are frail or small in stature should not take more than 300mg a day.
You should know that each brand of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen does not have the same dosage or dosing instructions. For instance, the general dosage of Tylenol contains 325mg Acetaminophen per tablet, and the extra dosage strength of Tylenol contains 500mg Acetaminophen per tablet. The maximum dosage for Ibuprofen is six pills in a day of 300mg. You should only take the extra dosage of Tylenol after ensuring that 6 hours have passed since the last dosage.
Also, you should not drink alcohol while using Acetaminophen as it can cause the liver to convert more Acetaminophen into toxic byproducts. Moreover, you should tell your doctor or pharmacists about all the other medications you are using before you buy Acetaminophen because it can interact with other medications and potentially cause side effects.
While using Ibuprofen, experts highly recommend taking the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time. While using Ibuprofen, you should not take any other NSAID-containing products, such as Naproxen. Do not take double doses of Acetaminophen as it can damage the liver.
Patients with heart conditions or who have had a stroke or heart attack should use Ibuprofen while being cautious and only under the supervision of a doctor. Elderly people with diabetes type 2 or with kidney problems or at risk of heart conditions are more inclined to suffer from NSAID-related side effects such as GI repercussions, kidney toxicity, etc. It is better to avoid Ibuprofen unless prescribed by the doctor.
Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen Use in Children
Thinking about acetaminophen(tylenol) vs ibuprofen(advil) for children? Well! Doctors prescribe both medications for infants and adults. Six months or older can use Ibuprofen, where Acetaminophen does not come with any age restrictions. It is good to consult with a physician before giving either of the medications if the child is below 2.
You can give infants and young children liquid forms of the medications. Older children who can swallow or chew the medication can take orally disintegrating tablets. There may be differences between the dosage and strength due to age; it is better to take the guidance of a doctor for the precise dosage for children. You should be highly cautious when giving medications to children.
There you have it. This is all the information regarding both medications. I hope this article will answer the question of what is the difference between Tylenol and Ibuprofen? Both medications provide the same effects but work differently in the body. You can get it in various forms and dosages, and each dosage comes with different safety measures. If you’re still unsure about which medication to use, we highly recommend you go to the doctor for more information. Your doctor will give a better understanding regarding both medicines.
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