Compare Ibuprofen vs. Tylenol

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

Advil
(Ibuprofen)

Tylenol Regular Strength
(Acetaminophen)

Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Advil (Ibuprofen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, but it doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs.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
5.479768786127168Ibuprofen
Reviews for Advil (Ibuprofen)
88%
of people say Advil (Ibuprofen) is worth it
51%
say it works well
4%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
77%
11% vs. Advil (Ibuprofen)
37%
14% vs. Advil (Ibuprofen)
3%
+1% vs. Advil (Ibuprofen)
Side effects
IbuprofenTylenol

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

FDA side effect reports for Ibuprofen »

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

FDA side effect reports for Tylenol »
How it works
IbuprofenTylenol
Advil (Ibuprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain.Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain, but doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.
Type of medication
IbuprofenTylenol
Pain reliever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Prescription or OTC
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Over-the-counter
Available as
IbuprofenTylenol
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Gelcap
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
IbuprofenTylenol
Risk factors for serious side effects
IbuprofenTylenol
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • 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
  • Hemophilia
  • von Willebrand's disease
  • Low blood platelet count
  • Taking anticoagulant medications
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking high blood pressure medications
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Advil (Ibuprofen) 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
IbuprofenTylenol
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent upset stomach.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
  • Advil (Ibuprofen) is an NSAID that can lower kidney function or cause damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Your doctor should check your kidney function if you take Advil (Ibuprofen) for any amount of time.
  • 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
IbuprofenTylenol
  • Works well to relieve pain, swelling, and fevers.
  • Ibuprofen works as well as aspirin in treating pain and causes fewer stomach problems.
  • Ibuprofen works better than acetaminophen (Tylenol) at lowering fever and relieving sinus pain.
  • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
  • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
  • Works well to relieve pain and fevers.
  • 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.
  • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
  • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
Downsides and risks
IbuprofenTylenol
  • Ibuprofen doesn't work as long as other NSAIDs, so follow the package directions on how often you can take it.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Can't be taken by pregnant women.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Like all NSAIDs, it can raise your risk of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
  • 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
IbuprofenTylenol
  • Starts relieving pain in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent upset stomach.
  • Can make you bruise or bleed more easily and it can also cause stomach ulcers.
  • Don't take it with other blood thinners, like aspirin, unless your doctor tells you it's safe.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
  • 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 IbuprofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about TylenolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert