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What is the Difference Between Aspirin and Ibuprofen?

what is aspirin used for

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Often when a person pops a pill, it’s for some type of relief, and while some people have a high tolerance for pain others don’t tolerate it well at all. So, it’s not surprising that pain relievers are taken as often as they are, and fortunately you don’t need to have a prescription for many of the ones that are perfectly fine for everyday aches and pains, such as Aspirin. If someone asks you what is Aspirin used for? Then there’s your answer – to provide temporary fast-acting pain relief. Ibuprofen is equally renowned for doing the same thing. So, which one do you choose? Let’s do a comparison, Aspirin vs Ibuprofen.

Both are OTC painkillers, and both have been staples in family medicine cabinets for generations. They are also from the same class of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and it’s also true that they work in the same way. Someone who can provide an answer to what is Aspirin used for may tell you it’s used to relieve pain, but they probably won’t know enough to tell you that pain relief occurs because the salicylic acid in the Aspirin blocks the body’s production of prostaglandins.

Ibuprofen works by blocking prostaglandins in the same way, and in doing so means inflammation never gets off the ground in the way it otherwise would, which results in feeling less pain. Aging and reduced digestive health are a reality for a lot of people, and our comparison between Aspirin vs Ibuprofen can start right here. Both aspirin and ibuprofen are effective pain relief medications that you can buy over the counter but using Aspirin can mean more in the way of negative gastrointestinal side effects.

Another legit response to anyone still considering asking what is Aspirin used for would be to say nothing – if the person experiencing pain isn’t at least a teenager yet. Aspirin bottles will clearly state that it is not to be used by anyone under the age of 12. These are just two of the many differences between two well known OTC painkillers that come from the same medication class and work the same way.

More on Aspirin vs Ibuprofen

You might be surprised to hear it but there’s a whole lot of older men out there with two Aspirin 81mg in their wallet. The question now becomes why Aspirin? And why in their wallets? The answer to the second question is that their wallet is something that is always with them when they are away from the home. As for the first question, it’s because low-dose aspirin can mitigate the damaging effects of a heart attack as it is happening and increase the likelihood of both surviving the heart attack and having less permanent damage to the heart.

That will lead us to note that knowing what Angina feels like is beneficial, because chronic tightness and pain in the chest may be a very real warning sign that cardiac failure of some sort is on the horizon for you. Alternately Ibuprofen is a better choice than Aspirin for arthritis pain, menstrual cramps, and back pain and circling back again to children it is true that Ibuprofen is what you should be giving to anyone under 12 instead of Aspirin if they have pain.

One Before the Other

The answer to what is Aspirin used for is to provide effective pain relief, and in truth most of you will have probably already know that. Another common question is can you take aspiring and ibuprofen together? That’s a legit question because these are OTC painkillers and there’s nothing to stop you from buying both at your local drug store or supermarket as you don’t need a prescription for them. The answer is that you can, but you at least need to be mindful of the order you take them.

The long and short of it is this; you can take aspirin and ibuprofen together but you should always take Aspirin first and then allow at least a couple of hours to pass before taking the ibuprofen. The best advice here though is to speak to a pharmacist to explain what is causing you pain to know if it is necessary to take both these OTC painkillers, or if there is a better and less risky way than combining medications.

What is Aspirin used for? Fast acting pain relief in the same way Ibuprofen is used, but there are a few noteworthy differences between these two painkillers, even though they belong to the same drug class and work the same way in the body.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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