Is Tylenol the same as aspirin?


Quick Answer

Tylenol is not the same as aspirin. While both medications are available over the counter and both relieve pain and fever, aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and Tylenol is not, explains FamilyDoctor.org.

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Full Answer

Acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, helps relieve pain from muscle aches and injuries; however, it does little to reduce associated swelling, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Tylenol may also be dangerous for people who have liver problems, especially if they consume alcohol.

Aspirin is not known to lead to liver damage in those who drink alcohol in the way Tylenol does. Although moderate drinking and taking normal doses of Tylenol are unlikely to lead to hepatic abnormalities, heavy drinking combined with large doses of acetaminophen, over time, may cause problems, according to Harvard Medical School.

Aspirin also differs from Tylenol in that it has strong anticoagulant properties. Doctors commonly prescribe it to prevent cardiovascular events in those considered high risk for heart attack, blood clots or stroke. While aspirin is not known to lead to liver disease in people who drink, consuming alcohol can raise the risk for stomach problems, including gastrointestinal bleeding, according to the American Heart Association.

People who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver problems or kidney disease need to speak to their health care providers to determine if Tylenol or aspirin is more appropriate to relieve their pain or fever, according to FamilyDoctor.org.

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