Difference between Tylenol, Advil and Aleve
For many people who have a headache or some other minor pain, Tylenol, Advil and Aleve are the brands commonly reached for. More people all over the world probably take these than any other over-the-counter pain medication, so we saw fit to provide this comparison of some of the more important characteristics of each.
Definition And Brands
The clinical name of Tylenol is Acetaminophen or Paracetamol, and it is an over-the-counter brand of medication. Advil is also known by its clinical name of Ibuprofen, and it is also sold under the name Motrin. Aleve is another brand of Ibuprofen, and it is readily available over-the-counter as well.
Tylenol is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of fever and headache, although it is not intended as an anti-inflammatory medication. This makes Tylenol unsuitable for conditions such as arthritis and sprains. Tylenol does have the distinction of being particularly useful on nerve pain.
Advil is chemically similar to aspirin, and it works in a similar way as well. Advil and other related medications work by inhibiting prostaglandin production, although it does this in a slightly different manner than aspirin.
Aleve is the only one of the three that works as an anti-inflammatory medication, and it works well for headaches as well as inflammation-based conditions such as arthritis, sprains, and even sunburn. Aleve has also been proven to relieve the effects of menstrual cramps even more effectively than aspirin.
Tylenol is generally easier on the upper digestive tract than Advil, Aleve and other over-the-counter medications for pain relief. It is also less harsh on the stomach lining, making it a better headache relief option for people suffering from acid reflux, ulcers, and related conditions. Tylenol and other Acetaminophen based products are also more suitable for people with hemophilia and for children. That being said, you do have to be careful about using Tylenol with other medications, as the combination may cause drowsiness.
Advil is quite a bit easier on the esophagus and stomach lining than aspirin, provided you take it in reasonable doses. This makes it a better choice for ulcer sufferers and those with acid reflux.
Aleve has a similar effect to Advil, although the pain relief effect lasts a lot longer (8 to 12 hours versus the 4 to 8 hours provided by other pain relief medications).
Similarities and Differences
- Clinical name is Acetaminophen or paracetamol
- Intended for the relief of fever and headache
- Not intended as an anti-inflammatory medication
- Not suitable for arthritis or sprains
- Good for nerve pain
- Less irritating effect on the upper digestive tract and stomach lining
- Clinical name is Ibuprofen
- Also sold as Motrin
- Is similar to aspirin in chemical makeup and function
- Works by controlling prostaglandin production
- Does not causes as much esophagus and stomach lining irritation as aspirin
- Clinical name is Naproxen sodium
- Provides relief for headaches
- Also effective as an anti-inflammatory medication
- Suitable for arthritis, sprains, sunburns, and other inflammation-based ailments
- More effective menstrual relief than aspirin
- Last as long as 8 to 12 hours