Tylenol Vs. Ibuprofen for Pain?

When you are hurting, what is the first medicine you reach for? Here are the differences.

Tylenol is the brand name of Acetaminophen, which is a pain reliever. It can also be used to decrease fever. It is not an anti-inflammatory. It provides short-term pain relief for mild-moderate painful conditions. There are different doses of Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol Arthritis, which is stronger than Extra Strength Tylenol. One benefit of Tylenol is that it is more gentle on the stomach and can be taken without food.

Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen and Aspirin are categorized as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used for decreasing pain, fever, blood clotting and inflammation. You may be prescribed an NSAID instead of Tylenol for inflammatory problems, such as bursitis and tendonitis. NSAIDs have potential gastrointestinal side effects.

So in general, both Tylenol and Ibuprofen are good options to treat your short-term pain. However, if you have inflammation (including swelling), it is better to use Ibuprofen. Be sure to consult your physician and pharmacist for any specific questions. If you have pain that requires chronic use of over-the-counter pain meds, report it to your doctor or healthcare provider to be evaluated. Have you had any side effects from using Tylenol or Ibuprofen? Please share in the comments section!

See the 2 links below for more info about Tylenol Vs Ibuprofen:



Published by lizbnavarr@gmail.com

I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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  1. Thank you very much for your helpful article. I never take pain killers (I'm lucky) but now I have a pain in my hip and wanted a pain killer until I can see the orthopedist but didn't know which. Thanks again! :o)


  2. Prostaglandins are substances produced in the brain in response to illness or injury which causes pain and swelling and Ibuprofen helps in blocking this substance.According to experts, it takes 15- 20 min for Ibuprofen to kick in and close to 2 hours to take effect.It also depends on the form of Ibuprofen, like; if you are taking ibuprofen in liquid form it will take lesser time as the body doesn’t need to break down the capsule/Tablet. It quickly goes to the bloodstream and relieves the pain Click here


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