Mixing pain relievers, benefits/problems?

First off, I know very little of how drugs work.

I assume tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofin, advil, etc. all use at least slightly different methods to dull pain - maybe one blocks pain receptors in nerves, another might release endorphins that dull pain, whatever. Anyway, is there any benefit to mixing, say, tylenol and ibuprofin? Would the cummulative effect be less, as much, or greater than consuming 2 of either type?

Is there any problem with such a setup?

Tylenol is acetaminophen, which is an antalgesic and not an anti-inflammatory. Ibuprofen is motrin, as is Advil, which are anti-inflammatories, as is aspirin. Anti-inflammatories work by prohibiting COX, cyclooxygenase enzymes, which cause the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation. That’s why Vioxx and Celebrex are called COX-2 inhibitors, because they inhibit the synthesis of the specific prostaglandins that cause abdominal inflammation; whereas, aspirin, for example, inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2. Recent studies indicate that Celebrex may not be as effective as reducing ulcers as once believed, but that Vioxx continues to be so effective.

In any event, you should limit your intake of these types of drugs. If you plan on taking more than one, even if over-the-counter, you should get your doctor’s approval, and most likely he will put the nix on it. If you need a stronger anti-inflammatory, he can prescribe it.

It depends on which two. Some drugs combine sympathetically to have a 1+1=3 effect. You are not going to have a problem with OTC analgesics unless you exceed the recommended dosages but even then you will never get near the LD50 dosage.

What people need to watch is taking prescription meds with too much alcohol. (I know, the bottle says NO alcohol, but pretending no one does it is not realistic.)

With a pharmacists approval, I’ve taken Rx Toradol with Rx Tylenol #3 when I had a migrane.

The alternative was to be hospitalized with IV drugs, which I just wasn’t in the mood for.

Something you do have to be carefull of, however, is taking an Rx NSAID like Toradol with an OTC NSAID like advil or motrin. You WILL burn a hole clean on through your stomach, in which case your headache or muscle strain will seem like a pleasant memory.

I’m not an expert, but from what I know, you can, if you need to, take Ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin, etc) and Acetaminophen(Tylenol) together, with a few hours offset. My now 7 year old son had severe recurring ear infections as an infant, and would have outrageously high fevers, and pain. Per the ER doctors instructions, we were able to give him a dose of Ibuprofen, which can be given every 6 hours, and then approximately 2-3 hours later, a dose of Acetaminophen, which can be given every 4 hours. There were a couple of times, while in the ER, that they gave both simultaniously, but it was under severe circumstances, and while in the hospital itself. It is not a recommended practice at home, but I have found that the offset method is regularly recommended for high fevers.


Since we have such knowledgable people about pain relievers, which is the best to take care of muscle fatigue pain? I’m going to be standing for 8 hours a day, and that hurts the hell out of my back, so I’m wondering what the most effective pain reliever is for that sort of thing.

SenorBeef I suspect that the best thing to do would be to prevent the pain in the first place. Can you have a cushioning matt to stand on? How about the abdominal braces that you see folks at Home Depot and the like wearing? Taking a break during the day, stretching, perhaps strengthing your core muscle groups might be something to look into.

I’m looking into strengthening my core muscle groups right now. I haven’t considered a cushioning matt… does it help pain that much?

And what exactly do the abdominal braces do?

Some info on the braces: http://www.ergodyne.com/services/fredprev/UCLA-HomeDepot.html

This link has some info on the mats: http://www.ergoboy.com/ergo_for/retail.php