Pain relievers help manage pains of various types. Such drugs are widely used for relieving toothaches, migraines / headache, back pain, muscular pains, etc. Advil and Tylenol are most popular pain relievers. Each has its own unique way of working. These two drugs are made with different active chemicals. It pays to know more about the differences between these two drugs.

What is Tylenol?

Tylenol has a key chemical known as Acetaminophen. It is available in various forms – namely, tablets / pills, capsules, as a liquid solution and also as a rectal suppository. The key ingredients work to control the quantum of prostaglandin made by your system. Prostaglandin is a natural substance your boy makes as it experiences pains and discomforts like toothache, pains in joints, headache or migraines and a few types of muscular discomforts. In a few countries, acetaminophen is also called paracetamol.

Tylenol works on enzymes known as COX – i.e., both COX – 1 and COX – 2. Though NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen also work in the same manner, owing to a unique way Tylenol works on prostaglandins as well as COX enzyme – it is not categorized as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (in short, NSAID)

What is Advil?

Advil is an NSAID and is commonly administered for conditions such as headaches, joint pains, muscular aches, back pains, etc. This drug is based on an NSAID called ibuprofen. Like Tylenol, key ingredients of Advil control enzymes that produce prostaglandin. As mentioned, prostaglandins are natures’ own way to hasten up your healing process.

NSAIDs – such as Advil – are known to trigger a few internal bleeding and / or ulcers. People who took this drug for a longer time span may develop stomach related problems. Your treating doctor / pharmacist may hence advise intake of this drug for a lesser timespan. Those who have prior medical conditions such as ulcers or stomach problems may need to tell about such problems prior to taking this NSAID.

What are the key differences between Advil and Tylenol?

The major difference rests in the way these two drugs work. Advil blocks COX enzymes (short form of cyclooxygenase) which play a vital role when you have fever or pains. This drug has a direct impact on the extent of production of these enzymes. On the other hand, Tylenol is believed is work on the COX levels; however, the precise mode of action is still not fully evidenced.

Last but not least, Tylenol is known to work on your nervous system and it makes little impact on the nerves in the periphery i.e., those outside your spinal cord and brain. Owing to these key differences, the way Tylenol works on pains is quite different from the way Advil works. For instance, Tylenol has only a limited level of impact on internal swelling and / or inflammation.

A few safety precautions associated with the use of pain relievers

NSAIDs such as Advil can enhance the risks of a blood clot or a condition known as thrombosis. Studies indicate that this risk is associated with the inhibition of a few enzymes like COX – 2. Due to such cardiac risks, daily dose of Advil is never allowed to exceed 1,200 milligrams (mg) within a 24-hour timespan. People who took dosage strengths in the range of 2,200 mg each day are more likely to see heart problems or circulatory disorders.

It is equally essential not to take multiple versions of painkilling drugs at the same time. It is also a safe practice to stay away from long-acting pain relieving meds; these are more likely to trigger risks of gastric conditions. Also, it can be dangerous to co-administer or alternate short-acting meds with long-acting drugs. It is essential to take needful guidance from qualified clinician before commencing your medication plan.

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