Acetaminophen vs Ibuprofen: Difference and Comparison

One of the most common reasons why people visit medical experts is for pain relief. There are numerous medications available in the market for the same.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Acetaminophen primarily treats pain and fever, while ibuprofen targets inflammation, pain, and fever.
  2. Acetaminophen has fewer side effects and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal issues than ibuprofen.
  3. Ibuprofen is an NSAID, blocking COX enzymes to reduce inflammation, whereas acetaminophen works through a less understood mechanism.

Acetaminophen vs Ibuprofen

Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever and fever reducer. It is commonly used to treat mild to moderate pain from headaches, menstrual cramps, etc. Ibuprofen is a medicine that can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including headaches, menstrual cramps, toothaches, arthritis, etc.

Acetaminophen vs Ibuprofen

Acetaminophen, often referred to as paracetamol, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat the symptoms of fever and low-moderate pain.

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication that is useful for the treatment of pain, fever, and inflammation. It is often used by patients suffering from headaches, dental pain, menstrual cramps, muscle aches and even arthritis.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAcetaminophenIbuprofen 2profen
UsesAcetaminophen is used to treat mild to moderate pain and fever.Ibuprofen is used to treat pain, fever, as well as inflammation.
Side EffectsSome common side effects of acetaminophen include nausea, itching, rash, headache, loss of appetite and dark urine.Common side effects of ibuprofen 2 include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness, tinnitus, and difficulty in breathing.
Functional PrincipleAcetaminophen inhibits the production of prostaglandins in the brain which sensitizes pain.Ibuprofen 2 inhibits COX1 which catalyzes the creation and secretion of prostaglandins.
PrecautionsLong term use or overdose of acetaminophen may cause liver damage.Long term use or overdose of ibuprofen may cause internal bleeding.
SafetyAcetaminophen is relatively safe to use.Ibuprofen should be avoided during pregnancy.

What is Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is a medication used to relieve pain and fever. It is also called paracetamol or Tylenol.

On consuming a standard dose of the drug, the body temperature of the user decreases by a slight degree. Acetaminophen also relieves pain that is caused due to acute migraines.

Acetaminophen was first made in the 1800s and was widely used as a medication for fever and pain in the United States as well as Europe. The drug even made it to the list of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medications.


What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammation medication that is used to treat pain, fevers, and inflammation. Some common conditions that it is used to treat are menstrual cramps, migraines, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

Some common side effects of ibuprofen 2 include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, rashes, stomach upset, tinnitus, tiredness and even difficulty in breathing.

Ibuprofen was discovered in the year of 1961 by Stewart Adams and John Nicholson. Both of them worked at Boots UK Limited. They initially suggested for the drug to be sold under the name ‘Brufen’.


Main Differences Between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen

  1. Long-term use or overdose of acetaminophen may cause liver damage, while that of ibuprofen may cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
  2. Acetaminophen is safe to consume during pregnancy, while ibuprofen is not.
Difference Between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen

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