Difference between acetaminophen and aspirin
acetaminophen and aspirin:
These two names, Acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol and Aspirin are music to an ear which is wrought with pain. Many believe that these two drugs are pretty much the same and would not bother finding out the differences either as long as they kept the pain away but this is not healthy. There are several differences that distinguish them for each other and it is important that one knows of these differences for effective pain reduction as well as to avoid harmful side effects which may occur as a result of their misuse.
What is acetaminophen?
Acetaminophen, commonly sold as Tylenol, also sometimes called paracetamol, is to be used for pain relief and fever reduction. It is also commonly used long-term for osteoarthritis, chronic back pain and headaches. But it is not an anti-inflammatory substance and as a result, it does not effectively treat arthritis or sprains. It considered as the safest and the most effective for headache treatment for people with acid reflux disease, ulcers, etc because of it being less irritating to the lining of the stomach, making it a gastric-friendly medicine. It is also considered as safer for hemophiliacs and children than any other pain reliever in the market. Yet, it is sometimes considered as dangerous to the kidneys and the liver and is known to interact negatively when taken with alcohol.
What is aspirin?
Aspirin, a NSAID sold as Bayer or Bufferin retains its reputation as the first ever over-the-counter pain reliever drug to see mass production. Once absorbed into the bloodstream, aspirin seeks out prostaglandins whuich are the culprits which cause pain. Thus, aspirin reacts with the bloodstream to inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzyme which works to limits the volume of prostaglandins and thus reduce the amount of pain that one feels. Aspirin is mainly used to quell headaches, minor body aches and pains andit also reduces inflammation as well. Yet because of its harshness on the upper digestive tract and because of the fact that it is also an anticoagulant, aspirin can be the cause for an upset stomach, heartburn, dyspepsia and even hemophiliacs. Also because of its close association with Reye’s syndrome, Aspirin is not prescribed for children and yet, it remains an important element in the treatment of heart disease because of its anticoagulant properties.
What is the difference between Aspirin and Acetaminophen?
Both are over the counter drugs that are prescribed for all sorts of pain, headaches, fever reduction, osteoarthritis, etc. they are both pain killers and since they are both prescribed over the counter, one tends to use them freely, without really knowing that there are specific uses for both these drugs and that the effectiveness of the drug depends on the condition for which one takes the drug.
While Aspirin is known to be an anti-inflammatory drug, acetaminophen is not. Therefore, while Aspirin is known to not only reduces pain and fever, it also produces a solution to inflammation while Acetaminophen does not. Therefore, aspirin is more effective when it comes to reducing the swelling of an injured area while Acetaminophen is not.
Also, Aspirin is considered as having anticoagulant properties which thins out the blood and allows it to flow free while Acetaminophen does not. Therefore, Aspirin can be used for treating blood clots and plays a major role in heart disease treatment while Acetaminophen does not serve such use.
Yet side effects are more severe in Aspirin than in Acetaminophen. If administered properly, Acetaminophen is not known to have any side effects while the most serious side effect reported is liver damage if taken with alcohol or taken in large doses. Yet the side effects of Aspirin can vary from ulcerations, abdominal burning, pain, cramping, nausea, gastritis, rashes, kidney impairment, vertigo, and light-headedness, serious gastrointestinal bleeding which is marked by black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing may be the only signs of internal bleeding. If ringing in the ears occur, the daily dose should be reduced.