Tylenol and Advil are two of the most popular, and common, over the counter pain relievers in the world. Those are the brand names, of course. Their generic drug names are acetaminophen, or Tylenol, and ibuprofen, or Advil. Though they’re often used in a similar fashion for similar reasons, they’re actually different drugs with different actions upon the body. Acetaminophen is an analgesic pain reliever that reduces fever. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, ibuprofen seems similar but is medically distinct.
Both do have some shared side effects, even though they act differently on the body. The side effects include nausea, headaches, and rash. But other side effects differ between the drugs. Acetaminophen’s side effects include skin reactions, blood anemia and reduced blood platelet count, possible liver and kidney damage, and an increase in hypersensitivity. For ibuprofen, it can cause dizziness or drowsiness, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, and tinnitus.
As an analgesic, acetaminophen works by affecting prostaglandin production in the brain. When taken, it tends to increase the pain threshold; meaning the amount of pain you feel as painful needs to be higher. This has the result of making less serious pain hurt less, because you’re not feeling it as much since it’s below the threshold of the analgesic. Ibuprofen’s pain effects work in a similar fashion, by blocking prostaglandin production.
While they might seem similar, two common pain relievers act in different ways and give you options. #HealthStatus