tylenol or ibuprofen

i’m getting a first aid kit together for a trip and was wondering what’s the difference between the 2? they both seem to treat the same symptoms: relief various forms of pain and reduce fever. is ibuprofen better for swelling? when should i use 1 over the other? is it necessary to take both?

ibuprofen and acetaminophen
They are not the same.

Ibuprofen inhibits an enzyme involved in prostaglandin synthesis, and has will reduce fever and mild pain at low doses, and inflammation at higher doses. Higher doses of ibuprofen also have significant potential to cause stomach irritation, and potentially gastric bleeding if taken in excess for too long. It is possible to overdose on ibuprofen, but fairly difficult.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) acts by a different and not entirely understood mechanism. It entirely lacks anti-inflammatory effect even at high doses, and should never be taken for this purpose. It is more effective at reducing pain than is ibuprofen, again for unknown reasons. Acetaminophen overdose is a very common cause of sudden liver failure, and you should very carefully observe the recommended maximum cumulative daily dosages.

It is probably worthwhile carrying both if you have the room. For kayaking aches and pains, ibuprofen will generally be more effective. For relief of that cold and fever that are threatening to ruin your trip, acetaminophen is probably better. Your mileage may vary.

One more time: despite the fact that these are sold over the counter, they are serious medicines with potentially lethal effects if taken in excess. Read and observe the recommended single and cumulative dosages.


Ibuprofen is better for muscle and joint
pain. Either works fine for headaches and fever, though Ibuprofen may cause more stomach problems to sensitive folks. I’d suggest both, as well as plain aspirin. With tylenol and aspirin, you can intersperse taking them ar more frequent intervals, good for fevers.

is my drug of choice !

Although I wish someone would tell the knee that it is supposed to stop hurting after at least four pops!



Second both
I am officially diagnosed with a gut disorder, tho’ it’s been held off to be fairly asymptomatic for a long while, and as a result am supposed to avoid any of the common pain killers except for acetomenophine. This isn’t an uncommon reccommendation for anyone with a digestive tract issue. So if a full kit, both would be good.

Tylenol is for headaches…
…Ibruprophen is a food group.

Ahmen to that
Happy Paddling billinpa

pack both
Ibuprofen is an NSAID (non steroidal anti inflammatory?), and acetominophen is not. Some people have severe allergic reactions to NSAIDs, Aleve seems to be the most usual suspect. For those people taking acetominophen for pain is safer.

Vitamin I
Most of my paddling, cycling, and racquetball buds consider ibuprofen to be a vitamin.

Too bad I can’t take anything but aspirin because of drug interactions with my anti-arrythmia and cholesterol meds. I used to pop ibuprofen after any sporting activity, and it worked great. Now, I just deal with what I’ve done to myself that day, or maybe take two aspirin if it’s bad. Beer works good, too.

So in my med kit, there is aspirin for me, and vitamin I for others.


All Four!
Asprin, ibuprofen, acetominophen and naproxsin. I can’t take ibuprofen (mild allergic reaction - I don’t ever want a full-blown attack). So, I take either a 'script or naproxsin (Aleve). Others have reactions to those and not to ibuprofen. These are all easily obtainable and don’t take up a huge amount of space. Why not include the full selection, given that you will be with a group of varying and possibly unknown reactions.

Specific or not?
I include ASA not for pain, but in case I run across someone who has what looks like an acute MI or a stroke. I take extended release Tylenol to help with all day aches and pains and for pain interfering with sleep. I take ibuprofen 600-800mg for acute pain and on a maintenance basis for persistent aches. Regular dosing works better than acute dosing. For several days you can combine the two if you need greater analgesia. None of these drugs will help you if you dislocate a shoulder, break a bone, or have a very bad sprain etc., but now you’re in the realm of wilderness medicine where, unless you’re an MD or well trained and have narcotics, the best analgesic is a VHS radio.

When I had a high fever that wouldn’t come down, the ER gave me a handful of both and then told me to alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol every 3 hours. So each one was on the recommended 6 hour schedule but the fever stayed under control.

Disclaimer, this is an anecdote, and I would never presume to give you medical advice.

p.s. Firefox browser’s new spell check is way cool.

Good old asprin
Is all I ever need to pack. If you want a real useful first aid kit for wilderness trips, get one with sutures, a real painkiller (like morphine), antibiotics and a tourniquet. Oh and don’t forget to bring your doctor along with you as well as your lawyer !

Personally, I use Ty. Tried Ib, but it eat away at my stomach. I don’t use Ib any more.

I like Advil in gelcaps,
I find they work pretty fast, especially if I feel “discomfort” in my joints. I don’t really experience stomach pains with the IB, but aspirin for me, does cause some reflux, epecially if I’m burning a lot of energy. I take Glucosimine daily to help my ligaments and joints, and find that it helps quite a bit. Time and time again, I’ve heard medically savy folks say that you want to use the smallest amount, of the mildest possible drug to do the trick. Good luck!!!


Do not take 2 NSAIDs
together Aleve, Motrin and Aspirin are all NSAIDs and they can cause major gastrointestinal bleeding. The best form of aspirin is the chewable form and it is generally not given to children. All work really well when taken with tylenol.

Vitamin "I"
is what I call ibuprofin.

But be careful in Pittsburg PA: “vitamin I” often refers to Iron City Beer. A brew from teh Steel City, for those with steel digestive tracts.


I carry both
plus Naproxin Sodium (Aleve).

Has anyone taken mucinex ?
Holy shit, talk about nasty side effects.

This is the results of the governments fast track drug approval ! Where are Dr. Holford’s organic inhalers when we need them !

For general muscle aches
I prefer Aleve…