Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen: Which Works Better? (Infographic)

Pick the winner of our HealthHub Knockout

Which OTC works better? HealthHub Knockout pits acetaminophen and ibuprofen against each other.

In this “Knockout,” our experts compare the pain-relieving and fever-fighting abilities of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. They also compare side effects, toxicity and other risks. For some conditions, one popular over-the-counter drug has the advantage. For others, both medicines work well. But each medication comes with risks, some of them significant. Ask your doctor which medication is best for you and which may prove too risky. For your health, follow dosage directions and make sure your doctor knows how often you’re taking painkillers.

Which over-the-counter fever fighter and pain reliever works better: acetaminophen or ibuprofen?


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  • ceevee

    I always wondered about these. Thanks for posting.

  • Carla Lowery Counts

    You don’t mention allergic reaction to acetaminophen which ironically I have had a reaction to on more than one occasion. I no longer can use any product that has this in it. Ibuprofen has always worked for me and has never upset my stomach even when empty. I do however know of someone in kidney failure due to overuse of ibuprofen so I have curtailed my intake considerably.

    • MJ

      I also have kidney disease from ibuprofen use and I did not take excessive amounts. My Nephrologist says one does not have to abuse it to have serious kidney damage from it.

      • Wayne101

        Sorry to hear that, MJ. It’s got to make it tough to find something that works for you. You say it was not excessive amounts – was it over long periods of time? Why were you taking it? Just curious.

  • Lonewolf

    I am not a Doctor,but I had severe pain in my shoulder,took 8 -10 ibuprofen a day for a week and it raised my blood pressure to 190/100 ,where my normal pressure had been 125/70. Went to the ER and they said I for sure was going to have A heart attack.Ibuprofin even charged my EKG. They did a hearth cath on me and said I had no blockages and it was just sore muscles, stop taking ibuprofen. Went home 3 hours later. That’s my story.

  • Susan March

    I thought ibuprofen was the preferred med for arthritis due to the inflammatory effect. Or most NSAIDS for that matter.

    • Jmd

      Don’t You mean “ANTI iNFLAMMATORY” Effects?

      • Susan March

        Yes…I must have been zoning out when I was typing. Thanks for catching the error.

        • BOBBY JOE


          • asm826


            Check your keyboard, I think your caps lock button is stuck.

          • Steven Kane

            Calm down, narc, she was probably just tired.

        • whoiamnow

          Happens to us all.

      • Steven Kane

        Don’t you mean “I’m a douche!” ?

  • Philip James Jarosz

    I had a pain in the neck from picking pears, woke up the next day could not life my head off the pillow. I took Ibuprofen for about a week before I saw my Doctor. My blood pressure was 180 over 160. I talked with my pharmacist and I can’t take OTC Ibuprofen because I’m taking a blood thinner for high blood pressure.

  • Eishouse

    What about aspirin? It’s my OTC drug of choice for pain and fever.

  • gdibi3

    I cannot agree with this study!!! I have RA and Osteoarthritis and the LAST thing I would take is Tylenol. I use generic Ibuprofen and it works and it works FAST. Tylenol is OK for fever, or, minor aches and pain: but, the Ibuprofen is for the real deal. I had spinal surgery in 2002 and I ended up treating a liver problem for almost a year because the base the drug was in was acetaminophen. I had to stop ALL of the medication I was on for a couple of weeks…torture. Then, I introduced each med every 5 days. The only thing that caused my liver function numbers to increase was the acetaminophen. So, I went on ice packs & cold turkey! Ibuprofen is the ONLY way to go! Also, I am on it daily:800 mgs a day: if it is a bad day, 1,200mgs. My blood pressure is always between 112-120 over 60-70. It never raises my BP.

    • Susan See

      I agree that for me NSAIDS are more effective and I long for the good old days when I could just pop one. But since I almost bled to death twice and had to be hospitalized with blood transfusions I’m deathly afraid of them.

    • Janice M Giaco

      Read “BodyBio 4:1” online by Edward Kane. Interesting article about fats in our diet. And drugs that compete with natural body processes.

    • Elina

      Except that Ibuprofen increases the levels of histamine in my body and gives me an allergic reaction. So Tylenol it is. And yes, I do get relief.

    • Dr Luyt

      Very good article – I cannot fault any of it!
      I would just add that all NSAID drugs like Ibuprofen (there are scores) have cumulative side effects. So taking too much aspirin etc will eventually damage the kidneys.
      This does NOT apply to Acetaminophen (known outside the US as Paracetamol). There is a critical daily level up to which it is entirely safe, because there is a substance in the liver which eliminates it. But one tablet too much and your liver runs out of ‘cleanser’ – and then the acetaminophen becomes a deadly poison that will destroy the liver entirely within 12 hours.
      So Acetaminophen is ENTIRELY safe if you don’t exceed 20 tablets a day. Sixty percent of the elderly patients at the main rheumatology clinic that handles the worst cases in Southern Africa take Acetaminophen only – nothing else.

      • Edy May

        Not really! Although I believe it is a great and effective drug, there is always a difference. If, like me, you are 5 foot tall and 110 pounds, you may tolerate it far less than if you are 6 foot 4 and wejgh 325 pounds. Keep in mind that these are ” middle of the road atats” “

      • guyjones

        Why would I risk putting anything into my body that potentially holds the risk for toxicity above a certain quantity that is ingested? So, while, I agree that rarely would anyone exceed 20 tablets of acetaminophen ingested daily, I, personally, would rather avoid ingesting such a substance to begin with.

        • Xubaru

          Water holds a risk for toxicity above a certain quantity. Are you going to stop drinking water?

        • Andres Miamore Cadenza Garza V

          Oxygen is slowly oxidizing each and every one of your cells. You are slowly dying without even knowing about it. The same oxygen compound that is necessary for respiration is the same one that is slowly killing you by the second while your body tries to fight it off. Does that mean you will stop breathing?

        • Jeff Wells

          What an ignorant comment.

        • ScooterGirl

          Please. Water is toxic over a certain quantity. Are you going to stop drinking water?

      • Danielle Yates-Gill

        “20 tablets a day” you may want to specify the dosage because the limit is 4 grams or 4,000 mg daily. That would be 8 tabs of extra strength tylenol

    • Brenna

      I hope you consider the fact that your kidneys could fail taking NSAIDS just as easily as your liver enzymes increased in Tylenol. My aunt almost died from two years of taking ibprophen for headaches and luckily survived after a few dialysis treatments. I speak from experience because my kidneys failed in 2008, and I had a transplant in 2009. I am not allowed to even have one single Advil or any other NSAID. Just be careful is all I am sayin.

    • marymarkat

      Thank you so much for your reply. I do remember that Ibuprofen helped me years ago… and now I’m recovering from shingles with neck and head pains. Many people have said that acupuncture helps, and I’ll go once I feel better, and I may try “Calmare” which is available in my state… (perhaps Calmare would help you, gdibi3?) But in the meantime, I will get some relief. Thx again!! :)

  • suzyq

    Acetaminophen does nothing for my headaches, and if I do not take my Alleve (NSAID) daily, my neck arthritis crunches more and is more painful where it pinches nerves. Tylenol does not help my arthritis.

  • tatortwit

    Asprin rules

  • Kyle

    Neither is better for most who suffer body aches/pains. Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) is pretty much proven to work better with fewer doses. Hospitals are notorious for pushing Tylenol (it costs them less) and the manufacturer (Johnson and Johnson) massively underbids on it. J&J can afford underbidding on Tylenol because they make it back in spades on other items sold to hospitals, since they’re the largest supplier to hospitals in terms of non-pharmaceuticals and a major player in the pharmaceutical market.

  • Tom Warm

    I take a blood thinner, so forget ibuprofen.
    The real safe limit of acetaminophen is still 4,000 mg. The CDC reduced it, because of liver damage caused by a few overdoses. The reasoning for the new nominal safe limit is that it will somehow reduce overdoses, if everyone thinks the real safe limit is lower! Do you really think that someone, who is going to overdose, will overdose less, because of a lower safe limit? That makes no sense to me, and is an irresponsible manipulation of the public for an unachievable objective.

    • Dr. D

      As an internist, I need to remind you many Americans take multiple drugs all together that can damage the liver or severely stress it, such as “statins” to lower cholesterol, some diabetic meds, some blood pressure meds etc. CDC recommendations are for all Americans not just healthy 25 year olds with a headache! Also at least one American you know consumes too much alcohol! Please stop knocking the CDC and Federal employees as they serve us. They are an easy target but not to blame for American’s self-destructive behaviors. Dr.D.

      • BOBBY JOE


        • afraid to be hasseled

          how about the new heart attack markers for who gets statins? then we read the calculator tool is wrong. Funny it meant the drug company’s would sell(taxpayers pay) a lot more as more would be on them.

    • James

      A couple of years ago I was taking ibuprofen for back, and neck pain. I went to the E.R, due to severe stomach pain. Come to find out I had a G.I bleed, and it was due to taking ibuprofen. The thing is I also took it as directed. So go figure.

  • Chris Doe

    Ibuprofen works fast (within 15-20 minutes), I take it for migraines, fever, arthritis, and for aches or pains; it is the only medicine that works. I would have to take triple doses of Acetaminophen to equal the relief effects from Ibuprofen. Aspirin has no affect and it upsets my stomach.

    • Martin

      It was wonderful for me until I had an extreme ‘allergic’ reaction.

  • Dr. Kildare

    Would have been interesting to see how plain old aspirin compared.

    • Susan See

      Asprin is an NSAID.

      • Steven Kane

        And you’re a DOUCHE. He never said it wasn’t an NSAID, just that he wondered how it would perform against APAP and ibuprofen. Why do so many people unnecessarily feel the need to correct posts on here? Oh yeah, it’s an Ohio based website, Ohioans are all self righteous morons.

  • JustPassinThru

    My brother is a dentist, and in the dental community, patients with minor to moderate pain from having a procedure done are often told to take two of each, IB and acetaminophen. It’s synergistic and is incredibly effective in eliminating the pain. I use this whenever I have a truly severe headache…wipes it out!

    • rae2

      A few years ago I hurt my back shoveling snow. The pain was debilitating… I could hardly walk. Lying down eased the pain but soon as I stood up and took a few steps my back would “collapse” again and I felt like I’d injured it all over again. My doctor told me to take TWO Tylenol (xtra) and TWO Motrin (xtra) every four hours. Boy did that do the trick! The pain essentially disappeared and after a few days of moving gently around my back improved so I reduced the dose. I was skeptical about taking both drugs simultaneously but have since learned they act in different manners within the body and do not interfere with one another.

      • JustPassinThru

        Yes, this is a trick that everyone should know. It’s truly amazing and has never failed to eliminate my pain. 2 of each…does a body good! lol…

      • rae2

        I forgot to mention that my doctor’s suggestion worked for me but I’m not suggesting that anyone else do so without talking to their doctor first… especially if you’re already on some other medication.

  • Bill Smith

    None of them work for me.



      • BluewaveTX

        I really hate it when people are to lazy and type with caps on!!

        • Jalabar

          Also… yeah. At least he was smart about one thing. The safest and most effective drug quoted here today for relief of most of those symptoms is marijuana.

          • hennagaijin


          • dingus

            Marijuana may be safe but it is nowhere near as effective for treating pain as narcotic painkillers.

          • Steven Kane

            I’m an airline pilot. Are you saying it’s safer for me to smoke marijuana than to take Tylenol on the job? Would you mind telling my bosses that?

        • Duhhhhhhh

          maybe annoying but how is typing with caps on “lazy”? they are pushing one extra button more then they needed to had they not used caps?! So not sur ehow it’s “lazy” lol

          • Gloria Williams

            They were being facetious.

      • Elle

        Did you mean “you’re” instead of “your?” Did you mean to put an “a” before a plural noun? Did you mean to spell heroin, because you didn’t… oh, and it’s spelled MARIJUANA.

      • Susan See

        I am certain you are not a medical expert. Every human body is different. Ever heard of the law of large numbers? In any case, asprin has never worked for me either. Why do you think doctors have to experiment with different drugs for the same condition? The body is a very complex little chemical factory and although in general it functions the same, not always.

      • Steven Kane

        Look everybody, Bobby finally got wifi in his meth shack!

      • Duhhhhhhh

        Are Marijuana? Do you mean OR Marijuana? duhhh

  • kkowbell1

    Everyone always deviates from the question. The question was which works better for pain , not which can have side effects. Acetaminophen doesn’t compete with ibuprofen and Aleve is even better! Some people can’t take

    aleve or ibuprofen like my wife because of her Crohn’s disease, but even she will tell you there’s no contest and she wishes she could take it!

  • Pieareround

    1 to 2 isn’t “a tie.” (3-2)=(5-3) only if you work for the Federal Government. You also skewed the data by not including the first pain reliever, aspirin, Wouldn’t 3 in rotation be better than just 2?

  • crystlfire62

    Ibuprofen is a Godsend for most aches and pains unless you’re taking other medicines that do not agree with it. My son threw his back out and of course came running to Mom with severe back pain were he could barely stand. Mom gave him 3 ibuprofen and his pain was gone within 15 minutes. He asked me if I gave him some kind of prescription pain killer. I said NO, they’re just ibuprofen over the counter. I gave him the bottle and he still thinks it’s a miracle drug! Tylenol was much better than plain aspirin but ibuprofen is much better than Tylenol. I’m sure eventually they will come out with something even better!

    • Steven Kane

      I’m confused, are you the mom in this story or just the narrator?

  • Charlie B.

    Ranger Candy. Take 2 Tylenol and 4 Advil. Take Both at the same time. Its what they give our military in the field.
    I ran out of my prescription medication for my Lyme Disease Headache. Splitting Severe headache gone in 20 minutes. Better than many prescription meds.

  • Mike Miller

    Taking too much acetaminophen may indeed be harmful. But people with liver disease should avoid ibuprofen and other nsaids.

  • Tpaine

    What about Excedrin.?



      • Susan See

        Yuck. But I don’t like it. And it’s expensive. And I go from drinking it to throwing up. There is never that happy time in-between.

    • MysteryGirl

      Stay away from Excedrin, or store brand versions. Excedrin is merely Aspirin with a dose of Caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll feel as if you had a strong cup of coffee. Taken for migraines, it starts a “Catch 22” effect. Once you stop taking it, your body goes into withdrawl, triggering headaches/migraines. Remember, caffeine IS a drug – very strong and addictive.

  • dvz

    There used to be this thing called aspirin…

    • AtomicSpud

      their still is. and if people started using it again they would be suprized how strong and fast it works.

      • Jeff Wells

        Same warnings that apply to Ibuprofen apply to Aspirin as well, They are very similar.

  • Brad

    Different mechanisms of action and different metabolic (breakdown) pathways mean they can be taken together. This is often done for childhood fevers.

  • rtk25301

    I am glad to see that multiple people asked “why not aspirin?” Sure, there are people who cannot take it, but it is losing the advertising battles for obvious reasons ($). But you say that you see ads for Excedrin frequently? Keep in mind that is a combination drug including caffeine. Read the labels.

    • Martin

      Aspirin works wonders for me. Relieves extreme back pain.

      • Rich

        yes and causes micro – bleeding in the stomach…get off the meds people.

        • David in the woods

          If, indeed, if it causes this micro bleeding, and it is not picked up with occult blood stool specimens, then I would put this possible side effect in the insignificant column, to weigh against the beneficial effects. I rely on aspirin and acetaminophen as my NSAIDS of choice, since I have a healthy liver, where they are metabolized, rather than in the kidney, which in my case, has decreased function.

          • Jeff Wells

            Acetaminophen is not an NSAID.

  • Martin

    Long term use of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage. Aspirin works great for pain. It also reduces risk of colon cancer, cataracts, certain types of strokes.
    Ibuprofen is powerful. Very rarely it can cause an extreme migraine headache as well as convulsions. After years of using it, one ibuprofen gave me extreme debilitating headache. When I read the label, the last two side effects were headache and convulsions.

  • Martin

    Ibuprofen is chemically very close to naproxen. If have an ‘allergic’ reaction to ibuprofen, do not take naproxen. No scientific studies that I am aware of say this,
    but it is not worth the risk.

  • Zombieman

    Except that Tylenol is more like a placebo for my body chemistry. It just doesn’t work for me.

    • winter

      That’s the way acetaminophen is designed to work, is it creates a psychedelic/hallucinogenic effect on the mind and body to artificially increase a users pain tolerance by dulling pain receptors, as headaches and fevers cause mild to moderate pain depending on how sever they are acetaminophen is better for it.

      Ibuprofen on the other hand has a chemical makeup which blocks the body’s pain receptors from either sending or reviving the signal that the is an injury and “x” site

      • Gloria Williams

        I admittedly know NOTHING about this, and only passed High School Chemistry by the skin of my teeth, but your interesting explanation of how they both work made me wonder why nobody combines the two medications into one more affective pill. Is there a chemical reason they can’t be combined? If that were the case then wouldn’t we be cautioned against taking them simultaneously? I am just curious if you, or anyone else knows the answer to this.

    • stuckup1

      I can say the same for ibuprofen. It has never worked for me–ever. It does make me very dizzy at any level, so I’m done with it.

  • Robert

    What about Aleve (Naproxin Sodium)? What’s it good for? I rotate between the three of them plus aspirin occasionally so I’m not taking too much of any one of them.

    • Susan See

      It’s an NSAID.

  • Jalabar

    The safest and most effective drug on the planet to treat a MAJORITY of the symptoms named can be freely grown in your own backyard if there was morality in our government. The safest drug to treat most of these things would cost consumers nothing to grow, and would effectively treat almost all of the named symptoms with NO adverse side effects to kidneys and liver. Also, due to the anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogens present in it’s smoke, they have even found that marijuana smoke helps PREVENT cancer.
    However, it’s legal use also would cost Big Pharma BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars, and would cost Congress millions and millions in graft that they receive to keep the most beneficial and effective medicinal or therapeutic plant on the planet illegal.
    Hence why I included the qualifier ‘if there was morality in government’. The government far prefers reaping the cash benefits of Big Pharma’s contributions over saving the average American $1000s of dollars and improving the quality of their life.

    • JLo

      Interesting how this post has the most likes and it’s not at the top of BEST answers. I have no doubts as to the extremes that organizations will go for THEIR best interest $$ (oil, pharmaceutical) in hiding the truth from the public, ridiculing what’s real, and then misinforming the public to keep them confused. I can say I never used marijuana growing up an suffered from severe migraines until this year when I “woke up” and learnt all about the healthy benefits of weed. Now I vaporize weed a few X week and can live a functioning lifestyle without headaches.

      • Jeff Wells

        Just because it has the most likes doesn’t mean it’s the best answer. The Acetaminophen / Ibuprofen head to head isn’t exactly the most confusing or important medical question around.

    • alexis

      So what is the herb or plant you speak of?! To help with fever, aches pains??

      • alexis

        Just weed??

        • Steven Kane

          Yeah, you can probably find them growing in your yard.

      • Amos811

        Mary Jane aka marijuana

    • master94

      I’m tired of people blaming big pharma for problems when in reality without them a lot of cures and medication in today’s modern world wouldn’t exist and a lot of lives wouldn’t have been saved. Big pharma also didn’t lobby against MJ, in fact they are pro MJ. Why because they can make a lot of money from it and because prior to the ban they were the biggest growers. Now go ahead and down vote me. By the way MJ was banned by paper industry and churches, police unions, tobacco and beer companies who lobbied heavily against it as pot smokers were eating into their profits since they were ironically less likely to use drugs

      • Joseph OnaMission Colvin

        Let’s look at it like this, technology has advanced, yet even though it has, the dosages help some and other’s they do not. With my experience to advise of the pros and cons, did those pill bottles grow from the ground?

        • Jeff Wells

          Yes. In every way conceivable, yes.

      • Jason Holman

        MJ became illegal because the police state in the 60s was attempting to make criminals of the voting public in extreme liberal areas such as San Fransisco. It had nothing to do with the big Pharm or religion or anything else. Funny to me how everyone argues a historical point that has no historical accuracy.

        • Giusto

          Sure, your historical fairy tell explanation is all fact! Funny hyperbole!

        • BobTrost

          MJ was made illegal because of racism against Mexican’s. Learn a bit of history!

          • BargainBob

            MJ is illegal still because someone with influence is making money off of keeping it illegal.

      • Anthony

        Big Pharma has killed more people than it’s helped!

        • ScooterGirl

          Yeah? Tell that to the umpteen millions who would have died if not for evil Big Pharma’s antibiotics.

          BTW, if you ever need surgery or even dental work more complex than a cleaning just say “No!” to those darned anesthetics.

        • stuckup1

          BS. Tell that to everyone LIVING with a transplanted organ, who must take anti-rejection meds for the rest of their lives. Tell that to my own kid, whose hourly seizures were stopped with anti-seizure meds (she’s now a college grad who works a 50+ hour week).

    • Gordon Waite

      Pot is not the answer to everything “dude!”

    • oplix

      Um, you are a moron.

    • Cheyenne

      Even if pot helps pain in some states its illegal and plus in those states if you are caught with it you’ll be sitting in jail

    • Mommmmmy

      Pot it is for you but if you have a kid that has fever do you give them pot as well? NO! So pot isnt the solution

      • Jeff Wells

        There are other ways to injest pot than smoking. MJ has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing seizures in children. I know someone who preps liquid MJ extract (added to food, I believe) for his daughter’s seizures. It reduced her seizures from a half dozen or more per day to once or twice, sometimes even every other day. From an extreme concern to manageable, basically.

        • ScooterGirl

          What do seizures have to do with it? The poster was talking about fever and cannabis does nothing for fever.

    • Tony

      are you a pothead focker?

    • Giusto

      Delusional propaganda! I have been a counselor for almost 20 years, and when you say that marijuana has no serious side effects that tells me you are not reading ALL the legitimate research. It does get one “high” quite effectively, and I’m positive that is the primary reason most folks want it legalized.

    • Dlance

      Leave it to a stinking pot head, drug attic to make this post about how good he feel with mariguana.. Go get high some where else looser! I personally think this country giving in to all these drug attics demands to get high by calling a good drug.. No such thing as a good drug..

      Waste of air crackheads!
      Worry about getting a job, worry about why this country has the highest record for Welfare use..

    • David Houston

      Dude… stop being Naive.. If you inhale smoke into your lungs, you increase your risk of Cancer and add a whole heap of negative and potentially serious health effects as well.
      There is little doubt that Marijuana has some very promising medical uses.. but that needs to be seperate from smoking the plant to get high… treatment of certain cinditions using Alkaloids present in the plant is great, but you are not going to get many health benefits by smoking up…


    • RJ S.

      No, it doesn’t reduce a fever like ibuprofen or treat headaches better than acetaminophen. It does greatly alter mood though, thats for sure lol. I smoke weed daily. Saying its the answer to everything will not help, only hurt its possibility of legalization. And I think the opium poppy (morphine) has weed beat for the worlds most medicinal plant; like Mayweather vs Obama beat.

    • GanjaIsTheWay

      I salute you and your comment Sir/Madam!

  • scott_lewis

    You should also mention that Ibuprofen is dangerous for people with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

  • Susan See

    I had to be hospitalized twice for bleeding from taking an NSAID for arthritis. The doctor used to give me these high doses and I took them for almost 15 years every day until I had hip surgery. I almost bled to death. It was in my gastrointestinal tract but they never found the source despite several scopes. In any case, I cannot take NSAIDS of any kind now. I also cannot take narcotics, so thank god for Acetaminophen. I also cannot eat cumin or I have traces of blood in my stool.

    • anne

      What was in your gastrointestinal tract?

      • Gloria Williams

        I think she means blood…

  • Rich

    Well you never lower a fever unless at a dangerous level..99% of fevers never reach that..stop using medications and watch your health improve.

  • JT


  • AtomicSpud

    I choose Neither…. Take 2 ASPRIN and check in the morning. if you still hurt then take 2 more. It works and there are no side effects, but it is unsafe for children so for them they get Children’s Ibuprofen, it’s safer

    • Giest

      Actually, aspirin has a nasty habit of thinning your blood, which is why it’s recommended to stroke and heart attack patients at a daily low dose. This effect lasts for about a week, so if you take two aspirin on Sunday, cut your finger off Tuesday, you won’t have the clotting factors to stop bleeding.

  • rconaway

    I take both of them before playing ball on the advice of my doctor. The results are pretty amazing. Any opinions on this?

  • johnefields

    I was taking 1200mg of ibuprofen a day for about a year for joint pain.. Did this on my own. I went to have a routine blood test done, and my kidneys were at 50%. I was lucky when I stopped taking it, my kidney’s resumed full function. Made me much more careful…

  • Mike

    Acetaminophen doesn’t do jack all for my headaches. May as well be eating pez. Ibuprofen/Aspirin is super effective. So, I completely disagree with the list claiming the exact opposite.

    • Robert

      Yeah, same for me. Headache causes vary. I believe aspirin thins the blood a little, so depending on the cause of the headache, aspirin does the trick. I’ve never noticed tylenol to do a thing for a headache I’ve had. However, tylenol works miracles whenever I have a fever.

    • Brenna

      There have been studies that show an ad from the 1980’s I believe effected the way people thought about Tylenol. Basically meaning because people have heard it doesn’t worj as well they believe it when they take it and it doesn’t. Where as they take ibprophen and heard it actually works and voila! It does. Proof that thought is powerful. It makes me think about the placebo effect.

  • puk

    I do believe in Hippocratic oath that all healers have to take. The most important sentence is “primum nihil nocere” – firstof all, do not harm anything. Now to the question at hand : both these things are chemically about the same, and both do the same harm , first of all to your liver I take Aspirin. Puk

  • Bob

    Acetaminophen does absolutly nothing for me.

    • stuckup1

      Ibuprofen does absolutely nothing for me. It’s all about choice.

  • rje49

    Tylenol NEVER did a thing for me. I could eat it like candy without any results, and from the look of things here, I’m not the only one. Another note; these comparisons mean nothing. Use what works for you, not what this story says, because it’s worthless.

  • Sisumomma

    If a person itches and turns red with morphine, which alternate medicine is better and should morphine be stopped or just add benadryl?

  • Naturel Deesse Qui Regne

    Before pregnancy ibuprofen. and after. Tylenol is a sugar pill for me it does nothing for pain. Forget aspirin I refuse to take it

  • Dude

    Acetaminophen almost killed me. They didn’t mention in the article the effects it does to your brain either. Also, it’s not an, if, it destroys your liver, it’s how much has it destroyed.

    Death or a belly ache is what your options should be. And why aren’t they telling us that med schools are trying to make it by prescription only? I only know that because my brother just became a DR.

  • Warthog

    Burn a big dooby, land in jail. Free painkillers there.

  • Earl Cameron

    I looked this up because I had a terrible pain in my neck from staring stage right at a gig for too long, combined with drinking, dehydration, long drive to the gig, etc. I have been taking Acetaminophen all week and it makes the pain go away, sure, but then it comes right back, and this time with an accompanying headache, and It takes 1000mg to make it completely disparate but only for a few hours. Finally wised up and got some ibuprofen and I think it might have cured this crick in the neck I’ve had for almost a week now. Ibuprofen is 100% better.

  • Happyheart

    I have been taking blood thinners and 1- 81mg asprin enery day for about 9 years. I have been taking Ibuprofen for pain I thought that eas the better one to take. My orthopedic told me today to take Tylenol, all this time I thought I was taking the correct one but I guess not. I do know that the Ibuprofen works fast for most things.

  • a320tech

    41 years in amateur motocross…and I assure you that ibuprofen is better than any OTC product available. Use cautiously though folks.

  • Jerry Caswell

    I wish U medical professional chowderheads and bookworms would take note of a person like me who’s crashed more times than I care to count! I’ve been given Vicoden alot…mixed with “tylenol”…kills pain a little. BETTER may have been VICOPROFEN!!! I have had an EVEL KINEVEL amount of crash related boo boos. I do not take pills for shhits and giggles. Docs DO NOT respect my accounts of specific pains. I DO know more than MOST! IBPROFEN works very well for me. I do not get queasy. WHEN the mucsle and bone pain is acute, I drink a beer with it. (NOT a big drinker either) JUST know ur tummy…listen to it.

    I just now (after a horrible week) and a “DUH” from the clinic doc…who XRAYED my crotch. (Leary of all my many xrays too) never mentioned the words…”sciatic nerve”. I have Piriformis Syndrome…a rare buttocks form of sciatica. After a boat load of VICODEN this week (did not do much) I looked into my problem and began to get relief from IBPROFEN. (no beers yet) I am really pissed at all these, less than manly docs who don’t respect my words of truth and acuracey in describing my pains. U bookworms suck! RIGHT up there with 4ever skinny fitness people who preach to fatties about weight loss. Wanna know about life underwater??? …ASK a fish dummy! My name is Jerry Caswell and I approved this message! Good luck pain people!

  • Tink

    I can’t take NSAIDS…stupid Crohn’s Disease :-/

  • mary ann

    i have taken tylenol all my life, i am 81 rs old and still doing pretty good.

  • George Butel

    I have not allowed acetaminophen in my house for decades, other than when it comes mixed with hydrocodone, and, even there, I avoid it unless absolutely necessary. I avoid it so much that I still have a few of that mixture “left over” from 2004. (Don’t say it’s no good; in the freezer, it’ll last for decades, according to the Arrhenius equation.) Acetaminophen has been one of the leading causes of ALF–acute liver failure–for quite a long time. I think it ought to be outlawed. You need to deduct a lot on its side in your calculations because of its severe toxicity. The winner, between those two, would have to be ibuprofen or any similar NSAID. The most effective non-opiate pain reliever I ever took was ketoprofen. I don’t normally take any pain relievers, though: I get headaches once every five or ten years, and the only time I’ve taken pain relievers otherwise in decades was for gum surgery and during cancer treatment long ago.

  • ragbone

    Unfortunately because ibuprofen (and all anti-inflamitorries as I understand it) cause water retention, someone with Congestive Heart Failure issues can not use it.

  • AnomalousRing

    Which is better for soothing prolapsed external hemorrhoids? Discount the fact that ibuprofen can cause constipation — I want to know what’s better at kill the pain.

  • Harold

    I have a tooth ache which swelled my gums and now I can’t hear what is better to take aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Serena

    I agree with this article but if you are having joint problems I would take ibuprofen but for a headache i take acetaminophen.

  • Dr. Hunter

    My questions are for people who thinks Marijuana can be the solution for these health problems.
    Do you know that mamarijuana can case a bleeding in your brain cells? And/or you won’t be able to have kids when your married?
    Do you know that the marijuana smokers look like a very slow motion people?
    Sorry to say it. But they look like idiots, because they simply damaged their brain cells and can not respond fast. Don’t put marijuana in every single case, the doctors aren’t stupid to say that It’s not good as a medication. I highly recommend all you marijuana smokers to study to the level of doctors just so you know what is it all about. But I bit none of you can do it. Because your brain is really slow comparing to the normal people out there.
    Please do not feel offended. It’s the ugly truth.

    • Gloria Williams

      Also, it’s NOT pot smoking that combats some forms of cancer! It is CANNABIS! Which is derived from the pot plant, but does NOT get one high! (Just adding my 2 cents to yours, Dr. Hunter!)

      • Brent McCoy

        Wrong. See above post.

    • Brent McCoy

      Oh dear god… Who gave you a Phd? Marijuana does NOT cause your brain cells to bleed. PLEASE give me a link to that incredibly outlandish claim. Second, NO, you will still be able to have kids when you are married. That myth has been debunked years ago. Don’t you think the hippies from the 70s would be having some problem reproducing? Well they don’t. Again, damaged their brain? Sorry, again, an entirely baseless claim that has no root in fact. Also, I DO read these studies, and the ones that are negative about pot are always funded from usually one source, The National Institute on Drug Abuse. They obviously have an agenda and something to prove! You CANNOT trust their studies, they are in the interest of demonizing marijuana. Time after time their studies have been ripped apart by real doctors with nothing to prove. This is PROPOGANDA. Oh by the way, Gloria Williams, your flat out WRONG. CBD Is the chemical that fights cancer. Cannabis is actually just plain old marijuana! Whoops! Lol, it’s not derived from anything! It’s just weed! New studies are in the works finding that THC, the actual stuff that gets you high, can fight cancer just as well as CBD, along with other chemicals from the cannabis plant. You are mistaking it for hemp, which does NOT fight cancer. Please people, do not listen to these people. They have bought into the lies and propoganda and literally have no clue what they are talking about, and this is all comming from a PROUD ganja advocate and vaporizer. If you want links, sources, UNbiased studies, or have any questions, find me on facebook.

      PS. Dr. Hunter, your are insane. Call people idiots, patronize them, and ask them not to be offended, you are a JOKE!

      PSS. Just because a study is published with a certain headline does not make it fact. They usually attempt to “make a splash” so that media will pick up on the story. Its an orchestrated propaganda machine. Find the real truth out. READ these studies, take everything into account, read rebuttals to those stories. Take into consideration who publishes them, what variables are taken into consideration, and most of all, THINK FOR YOURSELF.

  • Paul Barnes

    I’ve found that Tylenol is great for my back pain and is much much easier on my stomach. Advil destroys my stomach in just a few days.

  • tss

    Take willow bark. It’s a natural aspirin.

  • Joojoooo

    This article is terrible. I wouldn’t take either after reading this. Congrats.

  • DLance

    Leave to a stinking pot head, drug attic to make this post about how good he feel with mariguana.. Go get high some where else looser! I personally think this country giving in to all these drug attics demands to get high by calling a good drug.. No such thing as a good drug..

    Waste of air crackheads!

  • MystiKasT

    The best and safest drug for pain reduction is marijuana.

  • stuckup1

    Ibuprofen has never, ever worked for me at any dose, for pain relief or muscle soreness. Doctors and dentists really push that one, even when I tell them that I will not be taking that. IT DOES NOT WORK. I am a petite woman, and ibuprofen leaves me in pain AND makes me dizzy. It’s actually better to take NO pain relief after a root canal than to take ibuprofen, because I’d rather just be in pain instead of in pain and dizzy. Aleve sent my blood pressure soaring, so I was told to stay away from that.

    It’s good to have choices for pain relief. Aspirin and acetaminophen should remain as choices for those of us who can’t use anything else.