Although they have similarities, paracetamol and ibuprofen are two drugs that have important differences

On many occasions, we instinctively tend to take paracetamol or ibuprofen for certain health conditions , such as a headache , fever or stomach ache. However, we do not know which drug is the most appropriate in each case.

It is true that both paracetamol and ibuprofen share similarities, but they are two totally different drugs that It is necessary to know in depth, since they are two of the most sold and consumed drugs in Spain.

To know the main distinctions between both drugs, we have rescued the interview of Irene Suárez, pharmaceutical specialist, for ' Infosalus '.

Characteristics of ibuprofen and paracetamol

Ibuprofen is a anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication , which works by reducing inflammation and calming or decreasing pain. In addition, it is also antipyretic, helping to reduce fever.

Hombre tomando medicamento Man taking medication

In this sense, ibuprofen is used mainly as a treatment for mild or moderate pain, especially when it is accompanied by inflammation. Likewise, it can also be used in combination with other analgesics for more severe pain and with decongestants.

For its part, paracetamol is a drug with analgesic and antipyretic action, so it calms or reduces pain and lowers levels fever.

Because of this, paracetamol is a drug that is used as a symptomatic treatment of occasional mild to moderate pain, and for feverish states. Likewise, it can also be used in combination with other analgesics for more severe pain, and with decongestants or antiallergics, to relieve cold or allergy symptoms, according to the expert Irene Suárez.

Main differences between the two

In summary, these are the main differences that exist between Ibuprofen and paracetamol as a medicine to treat different health conditions:

  • Ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory capacity and paracetamol does not.
  • The administration doses are different. For example, in adults ibuprofen from 400 to 600 mg is taken every 6 to 8 hours; while paracetamol is taken in doses of 500 to 1000 mg every 6 to 8 hours.
  • Paracetamol is a medicine that can be taken from birth; while ibuprofen is a medication that can be administered from 3 months and in case the child weighs more than 5 kg.
  • They have different contraindications and precautions. In this sense, ibuprofen has a greater risk of causing long-term damage to the stomach and cardiovascular level; while in the case of paracetamol it occurs with the liver.
  • Finally, another key difference is that paracetamol offers a lower risk during pregnancy and lactation periods, compared to ibuprofen.
  • However, during pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a medical specialist regarding the consumption of ibuprofen or paracetamol as a medicine.

    It is necessary to clarify that all medications present a series of warnings and precautions regarding their consumption. Likewise, they can also cause different side effects, although this does not mean that everyone has to develop them.

    Thus, in general, both ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe drugs for health , although they should be administered following the recommendations of a medical specialist and having minimal knowledge about the indications for use of each of them.