The real difference between aspirin and ibuprofen

Your head hurts, you you take an aspirin… or better an ibuprofen? What if what bothers you is the throat? With all the options that there are in the pharmacy, it is more than normal that sometimes you feel a little lost about what you have to swallow to relieve your pain. The ones that seem the same are the two that we mentioned at the beginning, since both are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory analgesics. Even so, despite their similarities, they are not interchangeable.

Aspirin – and not ibuprofen – belongs to a group of chemically related compounds such as salicylates. They are substances that are found naturally in many plants and have been used to treat health conditions for thousands of years. In addition, they are found in many foods, such as raisins and apricots, and are sometimes used even in toothpaste. Another difference between ibuprofen and aspirin is that the latter is platelet antiaggregant (group of drugs that alter or modify the blood clotting), and is used at low doses as antithrombotic, which reduces the risk of thrombi and myocardial infarction.

They should not be taken together or alternated, since they could cause problems or stomach bleeding

Although aspirin and ibuprofen relieve pain and swelling because they block the prostaglandins, there ends what they have in common. When should you take one or the other?


We have mentioned is that platelet antiaggregant. The doctor Alyse Scaffidi explains in 'Reader's Digest': "According to the American Heart Association a low dose of aspirin could help to prevent a heart attack, because this medicine we could say that 'reeduca' the accumulation of blood and it keeps blood flowing to the heart. "However, recently it has been shown that administering it in healthy people increases the risk of heart attack or stroke by 11%.

The leader of the study, the doctor Sean Zheng, it was conclusive: "This shows that there is not enough evidence to recommend the routine use of aspirin in the prevention of heart attacks, accidents and cardiovascular deaths in people without cardiovascular disease"However, remember that it can be used to lower the fever, as well as to relieve mild or moderate pain caused by headache, arthritis, colds, muscle or tooth aches.


As well ibuprofen It is used to reduce fever and relieve minor pain (headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, back or tooth pain). However, the ideal patients to take it are children. If a teenager or young person under 12 years old is recovering from a flu or chickenpox, it will be ideal to give this medicine. "This is because, although aspirin can be taken when you are older than three years, it could even be deadly," says Scaffidi, "it is not recommended, sometimes increasing the risk of developing a serious condition, often fatal, known as the Reye's syndrome"

It's about a sudden brain damage (acute) that has no known cause. It occurs in children who have been given acetylsalicylic acid, that is, aspirin, when they had chickenpox or the flu. That's why pain recommends using ibuprofen instead to relieve headaches in most of your patients.


There are times when it is not a good idea to take one or the other. One of the situations is During pregnancy, because it could lead to possible complications. Similarly, it should not be taken in Hemorrhagic or hemophilic disorders, especially aspirin, as it could decrease blood clotting, according to Scaffidi.

Of course, they should not be taken together either. Doing so could increase the risk of stomach bleeding. Some medical doctors can prescribe the alternation of both to alleviate some pains or even combine them with aceaminofen, but what really must be taken into account is that taking a high dose of aspirin (especially without eating anything) can cause stomach problems. It is also usually taken to relieve migraines and, according to the doctor, this is another mistake because it can end up producing rebound pains.

Ibuprofen, on the other hand, can create habit or addiction if it is used too frequently, and even increase the risk of heart attack. What you have to keep in mind is that an excess of consumption of either of the two can lead to problems digestive, of bleeding or cardiovascular, so the best is consult your doctor Header if you need to take them for several days.