Pain medication: What should you know about over the counter drugs?

Going to the drugstore and finding the right pain medication can be difficult. Do you get ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, or acetaminophen? In addition, which brand do you pick up?

There is a lot that goes into buying pain medication and a lot to think about before making a purchase. Here is what you should know about buying over the counter pain medication.


Aspirin is one of the most commonly purchased medications. Despite it being taken by millions of Americans each year, aspirin continues to get bad headlines as doctors have linked it to thousands of deaths.

The most popular brand of aspirin on the market is Bayer. If you have a headache, aches and pains, or fever, aspirin can make you feel better. 


Advil and Motrin are two of the most popular brands of ibuprofen available to pain suffers. If you suffer headaches and muscle pain, ibuprofen is the medication to reach for. The over the counter medication is an anti-inflammatory and will reduce swelling in pain sufferers. 


Acetaminophen should be taken if you suffer from headaches and pain. The medication will reduce pain. However, acetaminophen is not a medication that will reduce swelling. Anyone who has suffered a muscle injury or joint injury that has caused inflammation shouldn’t take acetaminophen. The most commonly take acetaminophen is Tylenol.


Naproxen is a very effective pain reliever. It can reduce headaches, joint and muscle pain, and inflammation. Naproxen can even reduce the pain of a sunburn. The most commonly taken naproxen brand is Aleve. Naproxen over the counter pain medication is longer lasting and it is a great reason to select a naproxen brand over the rest.

Anyone taking over the counter pain medication should take it as recommended and never mix the various types of pain medication at one time. 

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