Compare Aspirin vs. Acetaminophen With Codeine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Aspirin

Over-the-counter
Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Protects your heart and thins blood.

A low dose of Aspirin (81mg) every day can protect your heart, but it's not the best medicine to take for pain, swelling, or fever.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 533 reviewsforAspirin
Treats mild to moderate pain.

Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) is a good option to treat pain and cough as needed when over-the-counter medicines can't control the symptoms, but must make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 581 reviewsforAcetaminophen With Codeine
Upsides
  • When taking low doses (81 mg) every day, Aspirin provides protection for your heart and prevents heart attacks and stroke.
  • Used in higher doses to relieve pain, swelling, and fever.
  • Available over-the-counter in drugstores by itself and in combination with other cold and flu medications.
  • Combination pain medicine with an opioid component (codeine) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • Provides quick relieve for mild to moderate pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for as-needed pain and control.
  • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
Downsides
  • Not a preferred medication for treating pain, swelling, or fever due to its high risk of bleeding.
  • NSAIDs (like ibuprofen and naproxen) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are better for treating pain and fever thank Aspirin.
  • Aspirin raises your risk of bleeding, especially when used with other blood thinner medications like warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Studies show that using higher doses of Aspirin (162 mg or more) every day raises your risk of stomach bleeding and doesn't provide any additional heart protection.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Acetaminophen with codeine if you need.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • The non-opioid part of Acetaminophen with codeine, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful.
  • Relies on the users to be aware of how much acetaminophen (Tylenol) they are using since it is a very common ingredient in many prescription and non-prescription pain medicines.
  • Avoid alcohol.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
533 reviews so far
76%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Aspirin?

Leave a review
581 reviews so far
69%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Aspirin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Brain damage or death from Reye's Syndrome
    • Children 18 years or younger
    • Children recovering from viral infections
  • Stomach bleeding
    • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
    • Age 60 years or older
    • Taking Aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
    • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Harm to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings
No information currently available