Ibuprofen or Paracetamol: when to use them?

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Paracetamol and ibuprofen are probably the most used and most common drugs in the first aid bottle, despite the fact that both are used to relieve various types of pain, with different properties.

Both medicines can be used during the same treatment, in an intercalated way, having to wait at least 6 to 8 hours between each medication intake, e. take ibuprofen.

However, it is important to always consult a general physician or pediatrician before taking them, because in addition to having different indications, there are also situations in which these drugs should not be used, such as when a person suffers from liver problems or heart diseases, for example.

When to use paracetamol

Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is an analgesic and antipyretic drug indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and fever.

  • Trade names: Tylenol, Tempra, Tafirol, Atamel, Dopagan, Supracalm, among others.
  • Indications: relieve headache pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, muscle pain, sore throat, ear pain, post-operative pain, fever and the illnesses that accompany the flu and colds.
  • Maximum dose per day: you should not ingest more than 4 grams per day in a healthy person without liver problems, it is advisable to take up to 1 gram every 8 hours. See how to take paracetamol.
  • Action Mechanism: paracetamol reduces pain through the inhibition of the production of prostaglandins, which are substances that are released when there is pain or injury. In this way, the body becomes less aware that it is feeling pain, generating a sensation of relief. However, paracetamol does not inhibit cyclooxygenases in peripheral tissues, so it does not have anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Possible side effects: malaise, low tension and increased levels of liver enzymes.

It is important to note that if the pain persists for more than 5 days, the fever lasts for more than 3 days, the pain persists or other symptoms appear, it is necessary to interrupt the treatment and consult a doctor. In addition, before using paracetamol, you can look for more natural options to lower the fever. See some techniques that help to lower the fire naturally.


Paracetamol should be taken under medical indications if there is any hepatic, renal, pulmonary, cardiac or anemia disease. In the case of people suffering from alcoholism, they should only consume this medication under medical advice, as it could cause serious liver damage.

In the case of embarassed women or during the lactation period, you should consult your treating physician before taking this medication. Nor should it be used by people allergic to paracetamol or to the components of the drug.

When to use Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is used as an antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug.

  • Trade names: Brugesic, Motrin, Advil, Ibupirac, Espidifen, Neobrufen, among others.
  • Indications: treat fever, relieve mild to moderate pain, including migraine, post-operative pain and after a fracture; It can also be used to relieve pain in diseases such as arthritis, arthrosis, ankylosing spondylitis and painful menstruation.
  • Maximum dose per day: You should not take more than 1600 mg of this medication per day, it is recommended to take up to 400 mg every 8 hours. See how to take ibuprofen.
  • Action Mechanism: just like paracetamol, ibuprofen also inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins, although it also happens at a peripheral level, which gives its anti-inflammatory potential.
  • Possible side effects: When ibuprofen is used for a long time, it can cause peptic ulcers, digestive bleeding, perforations (in some fatal cases), especially in advanced age people. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, strenuousness, stomach burning, abdominal pain, bleeding in the mouth, mouth ulcers, worsening of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have also been observed. Less frequently, the appearance of gastritis has been observed.

Due to its effects on the gastrointestinal tract, ibuprofen must be taken after meals. If you have to take it for more than 1 week, the doctor will prescribe a gastric protector to avoid causing these disorders.


Ibuprofen should not be ingested by pregnant women and women during maternal lactation without consulting their treating physician. In addition, it is also contraindicated in people with severe liver or kidney disease, severe heart failure, if you have suffered from an ulcer or bleeding in the stomach or at the intestinal level or if you have suffered from a perforation of the digestive system.

It should also be used if you have vomiting with blood, black spots or diarrhea with blood, if you have bleeding disorders or blood clotting disorders, or if you are taking anticoagulant drugs and asthma.

Also, avoid taking it if you are allergic to ibuprofen or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Know some natural remedies that can replace ibuprofen.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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