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A comparison chart of over the counter analgesics (painkillers)

 

 

 

 
OTC pain reliever guide

 

When choosing a nonprescription analgesic, compare active ingredients for the effect you want and be sure you're aware of all side effects and special risks.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Aspirin Acetaminophen Ibuprofen Naproxen sodium

Sampling of brand names

Anacin, Ascriptin, Bayer, Bufferin, Exotrin, Empirin Excedrin (Aspirin Free), Panadol, Tylenol Advil, Ibuprin, Motrin-IB, Nuprin Aleve

Reduces pain and fever?

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Reduces inflammation?

Yes No Yes Yes

Side effects

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, stomach upset and ulceration None when taken as directed for short periods (days to weeks) GI bleeding, stomach upset, bloating and pain GI bleeding, stomach upset, bloating and dizziness

Special precautions

Don't take if you are allergic to aspirin or have asthma, a bleeding disorder, gout or ulcers. Overdoses can be toxic to the liver. Alcohol enhances the toxic effects of high doses. Don't take if you are allergic to aspirin or have asthma, heart failure, kidney problems or ulcers. Don't take if you are allergic to aspirin or have asthma, heart failure, kidney problems or ulcers.

Children's use

Can cause Reye's syndrome* in children with chickenpox, the flu or other viral illnesses Available for children. Dosages are based on age and weight. Consult your physician. Available for children. Dosages are based on age and weight. Consult your physician. Do not give to children younger than 12 unless your doctor has recommended it.

*Reye's syndrome is a potentially fatal swelling of brain tissues.

Ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Actron) is similar to Naproxen sodium in that it also reduces pain and fever, carries the same special precautions — don't take if you are allergic to aspirin or have asthma, heart failure, kidney problems or ulcers — and may cause GI bleeding. An additional side effect, however, is ulceration. Ketoprofen differs from Naproxen sodium in that it is not recommended for children of any age. Its safety and effectiveness have not been determined for children.

This list is not comprehensive and is not an endorsement. sukhilallipharmacist.com has not tested these products but relies on data supplied by the manufacturers.

 

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