Which Is The Best To Take For Pain: Tylenol Advil Ibuprofen Or Excedrin Why
Besides Excedrin, Tylenol, Advil, and Ibuprofen are also effective in pain relief. You can also consider them as strong painkillers for back pain. But the question is, what is the best medicine for lower back pain or almost any pain?
Honestly, all the drugs mentioned above provide temporary relief in minor pain. Tylenol contains acetaminophen and works well in minor stomach aches, headache, toothache, joint pain, etc. However, it wont be a very great idea to consider acetaminophen for back pain.
Acetaminophen Safety: Be Cautious But Not Afraid
Cold, cough, and flu season is a good time to revisit the risks of acetaminophenthe pain and fever reliever in Tylenol and many other over-the-counter medications. Billions of doses of acetaminophen are consumed safely every year, but deaths still occur from accidental overdoses and thousands of people end up in the emergency room. More than 600 products contain acetaminophen, and inadvertently combining them can nudge you into the red zone.
“People don’t realize that these doses all add up, and before you know it you’ve exceeded the recommended dose of acetaminophen,” says Dr. Melisa Lai Becker, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a specialist in emergency medicine and toxicology at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance.
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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Precautions When Taking Nsaids
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the chance of serious gastrointestinal complications such as ulcers, bleeding, inflammation, and perforations. People who take NSAIDs such as naproxen and ibuprofen, may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke than people who do not take these medications. People with kidney disease, or those who have had coronary artery bypass graft surgery, should not take NSAIDS.
Tips On Safer Use Of Otc Painkillers
In short, the safest oral OTC painkiller for older adults is usually acetaminophen, provided you dont exceed 3,000 mg per day.
If you have any concerns about liver function or alcohol use, plan to use the medication daily on an ongoing basis, or otherwise want to err on the safer side, try to not exceed 2,000 mg per day, and seek medical input as soon as possible.
You should also be sure to bring up any chronic pain with your parents doctor. Its important to get help identifying the underlying causes of the pain. The doctor can then help you develop a plan to manage the pain.
And dont forget to ask about non-drug treatments for pain they are often safer for older adults, but busy doctors may not bring them up unless you ask. For example, chronic pain self-management programs can be very helpful to some people.
Now if your older parent is taking acetaminophen often or every day, youll want to be sure youve accounted for all acetaminophen she might be taking. Remember, acetaminophen is often included in medications for cough and cold, and in prescription painkillers. So you need to look at the ingredients list for all medication of this type. Experts believe that half of acetaminophen overdoses are unintentional, and result from people either making mistakes with their doses or not realizing they are taking other medications containing acetaminophen.
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Dont Throw Away Your Tylenol Just Yet
Christine Lin, a researcher involved in the study, explained to Reuters that even though acetaminophen may not be likely to provide relief from lower back pain, there is evidence that it works to relieve pain from a range of other conditions such as headaches, some acute musculoskeletal conditions, tooth ache, and for pain straight after surgery, Other experts not involved in the study were hesitant to advise patients to retire acetaminophen from their back pain regimen, commenting that more robust and consistent evidence, including verification of the results in other populations, is needed.
Its One Of The Most Common Back Pain Medications But It Bears Risks You May Not Know About
Acetaminophen, best known under the brand name Tylenol, is one of the most common first-line treatments for back and neck pain. Your doctor may recommend a course of this medication before moving on to stronger or riskier therapies, if necessary. Acetaminophen belongs to a large class of drugs called analgesics, which vary greatly in strength and side effects, but they all help reduce pain.Acetaminophen is found in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including some opioids.Photo Source123RF.comAcetaminophen is found in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including some opioids. This article focuses on OTC acetaminophen. You can read more about opioid medications containing acetaminophen in Opioids for Severe Back Pain and Neck Pain.
In addition to Tylenol, other acetaminophen brand names include:
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What Is Back Pain
If you suffer from lower back pain, rest assured that you are not alone. The National Library of Health estimates that the pain and stiffness of acute back pain is likely to affect most individuals at some point in their lives. The lower back usually gets the brunt effects of back pain because of its function in supporting most of our body weight. Back pain is likely to be the result of lifting a heavy object, sitting in one position for a long time, or an injury sustained from an accident. These sorts of backaches usually heal in a few days or weeks.
Lower back pain can also be an indication of something much more serious such as leaking of an aortic aneurysm, kidney infection, or problems with the female reproductive system. It is important to seek help at the first signs of back pain. If the alarm is ringing, dont ignore it, Nicolai said. Many problems do go away on their own. However, early diagnosis and treatment for back pain prevents a small fire from growing into a huge fire.
Source: Williams CM, Maher CG, Latimer J, et al. Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2014.
The Most Effective Tylenol For Your Symptoms
There are a variety of over-the-counter Tylenol products to choose from, so it may not always be clear when you head to the drugstore which might be best for your symptoms or condition.
This guide to the similarities and differences between the various Tylenol products should help whether you need relief from arthritis pain or a garden-variety headache, sinus discomfort, or menstrual cramps.
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Which One Works For Longer
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 Take Them Safely
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Is Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen Better
Ibuprofen is more effective than acetaminophen for treating inflammation and chronic pain conditions. Ibuprofen is FDA-approved to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis whereas acetaminophen may be used off-label for these conditions. However, acetaminophen is generally more tolerable than ibuprofen in regards to side effects.
Medicines For Back Pain
Acute back pain often goes away on its own over several weeks. In some people, back pain persists. It may not go away completely or it may get more painful at times.
Medicines can also help with your back pain.
OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEVERS
Over-the-counter means you can buy them without a prescription.
Most health care providers recommend acetaminophen first because it has fewer side effects than other drugs. Do not take more than 3 grams on any one day, or over 24 hours. Overdosing on acetaminophen can cause severe damage to your liver. If you already have liver disease, ask your doctor if acetaminophen is OK for you to take.
If your pain continues, your provider may suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . You can buy some NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, without a prescription. NSAIDs help reduce the swelling around the swollen disk or arthritis in the back.
NSAIDs and acetaminophen in high doses, or if taken for a long time, can cause serious side effects. Side effects include stomach pain, ulcers or bleeding, and kidney or liver damage. If side effects occur, stop taking the drug right away and tell your provider.
If you are taking pain relievers for more than a week, tell your provider. You may need to be watched for side effects.
NARCOTIC PAIN RELIEVERS
Examples of narcotics include:
- Fentanyl — available as a patch
Possible side effects of these drugs include:
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Pain Medicines: What To Do If You Have Heart Problems Or Kidney Disease
When people have pain, they often take pain medicines called NSAIDs . These include:
- Advil and Motrin . Ibuprofen is also in other over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicines.
- Aleve .
- Celebrex .
NSAIDs help ease pain and inflammation. But if you have high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney disease, you should not take an NSAID. And you should not take any drugs that have ibuprofen or another NSAID in them. Heres why:
NSAIDs are bad for your blood pressure.
NSAIDs can cause high blood pressure. And if you have high blood pressure, they can make it worse. This increases your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.
NSAIDs can also keep some blood pressure drugs from working right. NSAIDs can interfere with:
- Diuretics, or water pills, such as apo-Hydro .
- Diuretics remove excess water from the blood vessels.
- ACE inhibitors, such as Altace and Coversyl .
- ACE inhibitors are drugs that relax the blood vessels.
- ARBs such as Cozaar . ARBs are another group of drugs that relax the blood vessels.
NSAIDs are bad for your heart and kidneys.
Long-term use of NSAIDs can make your body hold onto fluid. This can worsen the symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swollen ankles, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. NSAIDs can also keep the kidneys from working well. This makes taking NSAIDs risky for people who already have kidney disease.
Which painkillers can you use if you have heart or kidney disease?
Managing pain without taking drugs
I Have A Sciatica Will Tylenol 3/300 /30 Help For The Pain And How Many A Day Should I Take With Cymbalta 60mg Lyrica 75mg And Amytriptyline 25m
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Why Experts Recommend It
Tylenol is a good alternative for those who have any underlying conditions in which a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug would not be appropriate. It is an effective pain reliever with fewer side effects than NSAIDS.
There are also stronger formulations, such as extra-strength Tylenol specifically designed for arthritis relief. The high-dose form has a greater risk of side effects and serious complications.
If Acetaminophen Isnt Providing Enough Pain Relief
If acetaminophen doesnt provide enough relief for your moms pains, then it may be reasonable to consider over-the-counter NSAIDs, preferably for a limited period of time. But be sure to discuss the risks and alternatives with the doctor first, and be sure to discuss possible non-drug approaches to lessen pain.
You may also want to ask about topical painkillers, such as gels, creams, and patches. These are generally safer than oral medications, because less of the body is exposed to side effects.
Questions? Please post them below.
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Aspirin: A Special Nsaid We No Longer Use For Pain
Aspirin is another analgesic available over-the-counter.
Its technically also a NSAID, but its chemical structure is a bit different from the other NSAIDs. This is what allows it to be effective in reducing strokes and heart attacks. It is also less likely to affect the kidneys than other NSAIDs are.
Aspirin is no longer used as an analgesic by the medical community. But many older adults still reach for aspirin to treat their aches and pains, because they are used to thinking of it as a painkiller. Aspirin is also included in certain over-the-counter medications, such as Excedrin.
Taking a very occasional aspirin for a headache or other pain is not terribly risky for most aging adults. But using aspirin more often increases the risk of internal bleeding. So, I discourage my older patients from using aspirin for pain.
Conditions Treated By Acetaminophen Vs Ibuprofen
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both effective pain relievers that are FDA-approved to treat mild to moderate pain and fever. Examples of mild to moderate pain include headaches, back pain, toothaches, muscle aches, sprains, and menstrual cramps.
Acetaminophen is only indicated for the temporary treatment of pain and fever. However, it also has off-label uses for arthritis, migraines, and dysmenorrhea . Acetaminophen may not be as effective as other drugs for these off-label uses.
Research has also shown that acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to treat patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. The ductus arteriosus is a major blood vessel in the infant heart that normally closes after birth. However, in some babies, this blood vessel remains open and can cause heart complications. NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen have been used to treat patent ductus arteriosus.
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Precautions When Taking Motrin Pm
Do not take Motrin PM for longer than 10 days unless instructed by your doctor.
People who take NSAIDs may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery due to drowsiness from diphenhydramine
There is an increased risk of falls for those over 65 years of age do not take unless directed by your doctor
Acetaminophen The Active Ingredient
The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. Categorized as an analgesic, acetaminophen is an over-the-counter medication used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Acetaminophen is found in many other pain medications besides Tylenol, including Excedrin, Vanquish, and Aspirin-Free Anacin. Acetaminophen is also available in generic form, as well as in combination with other drugs.
Acetaminophen is neither an opioid nor an NSAID Because of this, it may allow you to avoid side effects and/or complications that make other pain medicines impractical as choices. That said, acetaminophen does come with the risk of liver toxicity.
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