Which Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers Get the Most Favorable Reviews?


Quick Answer

Ibuprofen and naproxen are favorably reviewed as inexpensive and effective over-the-counter painkillers for moderate pain such as headaches, according to Consumer Reports. Other options, including acetaminophen and aspirin, are available, however, and some pain relievers may not be suitable for certain patients. Regardless of reviews, not everybody responds to treatments in the same way, notes WebMD.

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Full Answer

Ibuprofen and naproxen are tablets that are available as branded drugs, or as generics. Drugs such as these can be as effective as prescription drugs in the same class, even though they cost less, according to Consumer Reports. As of October 2015, Amazon's best-selling ibuprofen is Kirkland Signature brand, which holds a 4.5 star average customer review.

Another option for pain relief tablets is acetaminophen, which comes from a different family of drugs. As of October 2015, Amazon's best-selling acetaminophen tablet is from Kirkland Signature and has a 4.5 star average customer review.

A third option for mild- to moderate-pain relief is aspirin, which is produced by Bayer and carries five-star reviews on Amazon. As well as offering pain relief, aspirin can be used to help prevent heart attacks and strokes, although people should consult a doctor before taking it for this purpose, notes WebMD.

For people who do not like taking pills but still want to get rid of aches and pains, a topical pain reliever may work. Patches, foams and sprays are among the options available over-the-counter, and some contain ibuprofen or naproxen.

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