Pain Medications: Choosing the Right One for You

From Phoebe Chi’s “Musings of a Puppydoc” blog. Great guide, thanks Phoebe!

Please consult your doctor regarding the best pain medication for you.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine & Poetry

Advil. Aleve. Tylenol. Aspirin. Four widely used over-the-counter medications. How do you know if you are taking the right one?

The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with the major pros and cons of these medications as well as to help you differentiate who should and should not take them. Even if you already have a “go-to” medication, make sure you know these important basics, which is summarized in the table below.

Be aware that many medications are simply combinations of these (Excedrin = Tylenol + Aspirin + Caffeine), so always look at your medication label to see what you are getting.

Tip: Taking any pain medication with a caffeinated beverage will often increase its effectiveness, as caffeine helps speed up absorption as well as potentiate its analgesic effects. This is why some medications, like Excedrin and Midol, already contain caffeine (60mg…about the same as…

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  1. Vic Crain

    Huge caveat: My wife is under the care of the Headache Center, Depart. of Neurology, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We’ve been advised that taking more than eight (8) Advil in a 30 day period runs the risk of damage to the liver or other organs. While the bottle shows a daily maximum, it doesn’t show the monthly limit, and taking the daily maximum on more than four days in a month would constitute an overdose.


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