Compare Aspirin vs. Tylenol

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

Aspirin

Tylenol Regular Strength
(Acetaminophen)

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.Relieves pain and fever. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain well, but it doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.152255639097745Aspirin
Reviews for Aspirin
76%
of people say Aspirin is worth it
41%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
77%
+1% vs. Aspirin
37%
4% vs. Aspirin
3%
+3% vs. Aspirin
Side effects
AspirinTylenol

We haven’t found good data for Aspirin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Aspirin »

We haven’t found good data for Tylenol side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tylenol »
How it works
AspirinTylenol
Aspirin is a salicylate and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain. It also prevents blood platelets from forming clots, which thins your blood.Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain, but doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.
Type of medication
AspirinTylenol
Pain reliever
Salicylate
Anticoagulant
Anti-platelet
Over-the-counter
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Over-the-counter
Available as
AspirinTylenol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Gelcap
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
AspirinTylenol
Risk factors for serious side effects
AspirinTylenol
  • Children 18 years or younger
  • Children recovering from viral infections
  • 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
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Aspirin risks & warnings »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
AspirinTylenol
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) can damage your liver.
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers shouldn't use Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) since it can cause serious liver damage.
Food
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
AspirinTylenol
  • 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.
  • Works well to relieve pain and fevers.
  • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
  • Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) causes less upset stomach, ulcers, bruising, and bleeding than other pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
  • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
  • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
Downsides and risks
AspirinTylenol
  • 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.
  • Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) doesn't treat pain as well as other medications like ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) can damage your liver.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you need to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you are taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers shouldn't use Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) since it can cause serious liver damage.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AspirinTylenol
  • Using low doses (81mg) of Aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, but it isn't good for everyone. Only take Aspirin daily if your doctor recommends it.
  • Higher Aspirin doses can be used to treat occasional pain, swelling, and fever. Using ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead can lower your risk of serious bleeding.
  • Take with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Don't use for kids younger than 18 years old.
  • Stop taking this right away and tell your doctor if you have ringing in your ears, unusual bleeding, or nausea or vomiting that doesn't go away.
  • Starts working in one hour.
  • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Adults should never take more than 3,000 milligrams (mg) in a single day.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
Learn more
More about AspirinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about TylenolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert