Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is generally well-tolerated in healthy children and adults. However, it can increase the risk of heart conditions and bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach discomfort even in those without preexisting conditions or risk factors. Fortunately, there are several alternative pain relievers available both with or without a prescription.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Aspirin is a salicylate that can be used to treat mild to moderate pain and reduce fevers. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Aspirin is sold under many brand names, including Bayer and Bufferin. It works by preventing the production of pain-causing substances in the body. Aspirin may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and rash. It is also a blood thinner and should not be used by those with bleeding disorders. Those with kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers or heart conditions should consult a doctor before taking aspirin.
- Aspirin is a salicylate that can be used to treat mild to moderate pain and reduce fevers.
- It is also a blood thinner and should not be used by those with bleeding disorders.
Motrin & Midol Ingredients
Tylenol is the most common brand name for this analgesic. The exact mechanism of pain relief action is not known, but acetaminophen may reduce fevers by acting on the hypothalamus to reduce the body's heat. The most common side effects are rash and nausea. Exceeding the recommended dose of acetaminophen can cause liver damage. People with liver disease or who drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day should not take acetaminophen. Use caution when taking it with cold or allergy medicines, as these can also contain acetaminophen and increase the risk of overdose.
- Tylenol is the most common brand name for this analgesic.
- Use caution when taking it with cold or allergy medicines, as these can also contain acetaminophen and increase the risk of overdose.
Commonly sold as Aleve, naproxen sodium works by reducing the hormones that cause pain and inflammation. This pill is generally only taken once a day and can cause:
- abdominal pain
- ringing in the ear
- difficulty breathing
Naproxen sodium can also increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and a sensitivity to sunlight.
Topical Creams and Gels
Pain & Itch Relief
There are several types of creams or gels that can be applied externally to a painful area of the body. Rubs that create a hot or cold feeling, such as Icy Hot or Flexall, are called counterirritants. They work by irritating the skin and distracting you from the pain. Aspercreme is an example of an aspirin-based topical cream and may reduce joint inflammation. Capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot, is also used in creams to deplete the substance that sends pain messages in nerves. This cream may take several weeks to start working.
- There are several types of creams or gels that can be applied externally to a painful area of the body.
- Aspercreme is an example of an aspirin-based topical cream and may reduce joint inflammation.
Prescription Pain Medicine
There are many prescription pain relievers that do not contain ibuprofen. These include narcotic drugs, such as opiate-based hydrocodone and oxycodone, or non-narcotic medications, including prescription-strength naproxen sodium 2. Talk to your doctor about any prescription pain relievers to determine whether they contain ibuprofen.
Motrin & Midol Ingredients
Pain & Itch Relief
Stomach Pain After Taking Naproxen Sodium
Ibuprofen 800 Mg Vs. Diclofenac
The Best OTC Arthritis Meds
Can You Take Other Pain Meds Along With Celebrex?
The Best Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Ibuprofen 600 Mg Side Effects
Anti-Inflammatories for Sciatica
The Effect of Ibuprofen on the Liver
- Epocrates Online
- Web MD: Pain Medications
- Cleveland Clinic. The common cold and the flu: Management and treatment. Updated August 2, 2016.
- MedlinePlus. Acetaminophen. Updated April 15, 2017.
- MedlinePlus. Acetaminophen overdose. Updated January 12, 2019.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Acetaminophen dosage table for fever and pain. Updated April 20, 2017.
- MedlinePlus. Ibuprofen. Updated July 15, 2016.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Ibuprofen dosage table for fever and pain. Updated May 23, 2016.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Label: Naproxen sodium (NSAID) fever reducer/pain reliever—naproxen sodium tablet. Updated May 14, 2019.
- MedlinePlus. Naproxen. July 15, 2016.
- MedlinePlus. Aspirin. February 15, 2018.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Reye syndrome. Updated November 21, 2015.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). October 5, 2016.
Based in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Nicole Etolen is a freelance writer, blogger, and former Certified Nursing Assistant. She has been professionally writing since 1995, with articles appearing in "Lehigh Valley Bridal Magazine," "A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press" and numerous independent publications. Nicole is also the owner and sole author of Pretty Opinionated, a successful lifestyle blog for busy moms of school-age children, as well as a staff writer for several other parenting sites.