What Is the Difference Between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen?


Quick Answer

The difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen is that acetaminophen affects the brain by blocking pain messages and reducing fever, while ibuprofen reduces the level of hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body, notes WebMD. Both drugs are the most widely used of drugs for treating pain.

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Full Answer

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer, commonly known by the brands Acephen, Actamin, Feverall, Mapap, Q-Pap, Tactinal, Tempra, Tylenol, Uniserts and Vitapap. It treats many conditions, such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds and fevers. While it is an effective pain reliever, side effects include nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, jaundice and, in some rare circumstances, it may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal, explains Drugs.com.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug known by the brand names Advil, Genpril, IBU, Midol, Motrin and Nuprin. It works by reducing levels of chemicals called prostaglandins that cause inflammation and pain in the body. It is an effective drug for reducing fever and treating pain or inflammation caused by many conditions, such as headache, toothache, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps or minor injury. Side effects include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, unusual bleeding, or bruising and vomiting, states Drugs.com.

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