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Differences Between Major Over-The-Counter Pain Drugs

The Giant Noodle

DP Veteran
Mar 22, 2010
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Northern Illinois
Political Leaning
By Chad Upton | Editor
There are many over-the-counter pain killer choices and although they are often used interchangeably, they each have unique strengths and weaknesses. Knowing their differences can be extremely beneficial for choosing the most effective one for each situation.
This kind of information needs an upfront disclaimer, so I’ll warn you that this post is provided for information purposes only and it should not be taken as medical advice. Everybody is different and various medications can affect each person differently, be sure to seek professional advice before taking any medications. Also, read the sources listed at the bottom of this post for more detailed information.
Due to the cost of over-the-counter pain medication, they are often used in large doses for chronic pain. Therefore, it may be helpful to know that Tylenol and Ibuprofen do not interact with each other, so if you reach the maximum allowable intake of each per day, you can actually alternate them to increase the pain killing effects. Again, consult your doctor before doing this.
All of these pain relievers are generally used to relieve the same types of pain and symptoms: headache, arthritis, fever, menstrual pain, back pain, etc. But, each one has unique pros and cons. Hopefully, this comparison will help you ask your doctor the right questions to help find the right one for each scenario.

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