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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

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Category Archives: Aspirin

There is often a great deal of confusion when it comes to over-the-counter products that contain Tylenol (acetaminophen), Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), and ibuprofen

Ibuprofen and Aspirin are similar products.  They are both part of a class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS).  They are good for treating fever, pain, and inflammation.  These medications help with arthritis, dental pain, and pain from broken bones and sprains.  Ibuprofen is the medication found in Advil and Motrin.  There is a new medication available over-the-counter in Canada called Aleve.  It is also a good anti-inflammatory medication and can be used for the above purposes.

Anti-inflammatory medications are quite effective and can often be used in place of narcotics for short term pain management.  However, not everyone should be using these products, and most people should avoid daily long-term use.  NSAIDS, with long-term use can cause stomach erosion, ulcers, and bleeding.  For patients on warfarin they are particularly dangerous because they can further increase a patient’s risk of bleeding.  They can also raise patient’s blood pressure and damage their kidneys.

Aspirin should not be given to children, asthmatics, or pregnant women.  Some over-the-counter medications contain Aspirin and people may be unaware of this.  For example, Pepto-Bismol and some other antacids contain Aspirin.  If you are unsure please ask your pharmacist if certain OTCs are safe for you.

There are number of arthritis rubs and creams available.  Some of these contain Aspirin and other types of NSAIDs  If you are on warfarin or have problems with your stomach you should be careful with the use of these products.  They still get absorbed in to your blood stream and can have negative effects.

In recent months there have been some media reports encouraging people to take 400mg of ibuprofen twice a week for its general anti-inflammatory properties.   It is thought that inflammation may be involved in the formation of some cancers, such as colon cancer; therefore taking ibuprofen may play a role in helping to prevent some cancers.  However, further research needs to be done in this area for confirmation of results and safety. It is also suggested that if you are at any risk for heart disease or stroke you take a daily 81mg Aspirin.  Talk to your doctor if you think you could benefit from these preventative strategies.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is used to treat pain and fever.  Tylenol does not have the same anti-inflammatory properties that Aspirin or ibuprofen has but it is safer for some people to take.  For patient’s with arthritis who can’t take NSAIDS it is the next best option.  Tylenol is metabolized through the liver so it is best not taken by individuals with any type of liver disease. There is also a limit to the amount of Tylenol a patient should take in a day.  People should not exceed more than four grams in a day.  There are many cough and cold products that contain Tylenol.  Please ask the pharmacist if you are taking multiple products.

Ibuprofen and Tylenol can be taken together.  Typically ibuprofen should be given every 6-8 hours and Tylenol can be given every four to six.  If you have a young child with a high fever it is okay to give Motrin every six hours and the Tylenol in between.  It may provide some additional benefit and keep the fever down in between doses.

In general Tylenol, and NSAIDS are safe and effective for most people.  These medications work very well and can provide much comfort and relief.  If you are unsure what the best product is for you, your pharmacist will be happy to help you.