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End the Pain


has experienced pain, whether it be from a headache or a sprained ankle. Many times we choose to bite the bullet, but when the pain becomes too much or slows us down we turn to our medicine cabinets for relief. We often ask ourselves, what medicine should I take? Here’s a little insight as to what each pain medication does and when you should take it.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that can be used to relieve both swelling and pain. While people typically think to take ibuprofen when they have physical injuries (like a swollen ankle), it can also be used to relieve headaches and fevers. Advil and Motrin are both types of medication that contain ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can be taken to treat many different symptoms of pain, but it is important to take the smallest amount needed.

Aspirin can treat similar symptoms as ibuprofen, and is found in pain medications like Bayer Aspirin and Bufferin. There isn’t much of a difference in results between the aspirin and ibuprofen, but it is important to choose one medication or the other. By taking both types of treatment at the same time, the effects of each medication may be canceled out. Both aspirin and ibuprofen can have harsh effects on the stomach, so it helps to eat or drink something before taking them.

Acetaminophen is a pain medication that changes how your body senses pain. It is most commonly found in Tylenol, but can be found in other pain medications as well.  Acetaminophen is different from ibuprofen and aspirin because it can be taken in combination with other medications, though it is always important to be careful when mixing medications. Acetaminophen combined with ibuprofen and caffeine can help to get rid of a migraine.

Whichever medication you choose, look at the directions on the bottle before taking it. There are specific directions for a reason. Taking too much of any medicine can end up hurting your body instead of helping it. If you still aren’t completely sure about which pain medication you should take, your doctor or local pharmacist should be able to guide you in the right direction.

By Fiona O’Connor