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Differences in ibuprofen and acetaminophen


When parents bring their children to the doctors’, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What medication can we give our children at home?” Children can generally be given over the counter (OTC) medication to safely reduce pain, fever and inflammation. Among the many medications that are available over the counter, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually the ones parents try before bringing their children to the doctor’s office. It is very important for parents to know the difference between these two medications.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol)
(Brand name: Tylenol, APAP, MAPAP, Little fevers, etc.)

  • This medication inhibits synthesis of prostaglandins in the central nervous system, which reduces the effects of pain. It also acts as a fever reducer by targeting the hypothalamic heat-regulating center. This action helps disperse heat. When taken orally, people usually feel relief in less than one hour and it lasts four to six hours. This medication is primarily absorbed in the small intestine and is eliminated in urine.
  • Acetaminophen can be taken with or without food. It should be taken with food if an upset stomach occurs. Children can use it as suppository rectally. In general, acetaminophen can be given to infants younger than 6 months. Continue Reading »

How to get a handle on your asthma inhaler

You most likely heard about asthma before and probably even know someone who has it, if you aren’t already dealing with it yourself. Asthma is a disease that makes your airways red, swollen and inflamed. This causes your airways to become narrow, making it hard to breathe.

Asthma can become dangerous if it isn’t managed properly (after all, you have to breathe!). The good news is that it can be controlled. Here are some things you can do to help take care of your asthma:

  1. Learn exactly what your medications do. Some are to be taken every day to help control asthma while others are only used during a flare-up. Be sure you know the differences between each one.
  2. Take your controller medications every day. These medications help lessen the inflammation and prevent flare-ups. You should take them every single day, even if you feel okay.
  3. Take your rescue medications if you start having symptoms. These make it easier for your airways to open up so you can breathe better. Continue Reading »

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