Pain Control: Double or Nothing

Everyone experiences pain in their lives, whether it’s bumping a toe to a broken bone. And everyone has a favorite pain medicine they take. I just wanted people to know a couple pearls; first, there’s no need to not take your pain medicines before you see the doctor! Taking a pain medicine is not going to mask your disease and prevent a doctor from diagnosing you. Even if it’s for a fever, every good doctor can still make the right diagnosis. So don’t suffer!

My next point is that many people don’t take a proper dose. I like acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain, but usually 1,000mg is better than 650mg with no extra side effects. Ibuprofen, aspirin and the other anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are actually a bit stronger for most people’s general pain and fevers, and I recommend parents try ibuprofen first for their child. But what people also may not know is that the combination of Tylenol and ibuprofen can be even more effective, and is generally very safe. A medical journal review in Emergency Medicine discusses this finding (Analgesia: Are Acetaminophen/NSAID Combinations More Effective Than One Drug Alone?).

So, people who are in a lot of pain or have a high fever should feel very comfortable in taking high doses of both ibuprofen and Tylenol at the same time. And don’t hold off just because you’re seeing your doctor!


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