T Nation

Tylenol vs Advil

A pharmacist recently suggested to me that I switch to acetaminophen (Tylenol) from ibuprofen (Advil) because ibuprofen can be very harmful to the liver.

However, I’m assuming that this might be like the “protein damages your kidneys” debate. Is there really any scientific evidence to suggest that one is better than the other. I would guess that they’re both equally as destructive if you take too much.

As a side note, Advil works much better for me.

Discuss.

Advil (Ibuprofen) is eliminated through the kidneys. Tylenol is eliminated through the liver. Tylenol is thought to be safe, but in actuality is quite toxic. 7 grams, or 14 Extra Strength Tylenol can cause liver failure. For inflammation from training, Advil is the better choice.

Tylenol has no anti-inflammatory effect at all. There are rare cases where people who use drugs like Advil develop kidney problems, but if you aren’t using a lot of it, don’t sweat it.

Another option would be to try a good Omega-3 supplement. It has a decent anti-inflammatory effect.

I’ve heard that you can put your liver at risk by taking Advil on a regular basis, meaning you make it part of your daily routine. But I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

I’ve noticed that when it’s been prescribed to me by a physician, the pills are usually 800mg as opposed to the 200mg pills you can buy in the store. So obviously taking elevated doses for short periods or once in a while isn’t frowned upon.

If a person needs to take it daily to help with pain or inflammation, there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed with a doctor. I just have an aversion to making pain medication a crutch rather than a method of relief for occasional pain.

I was mostly referring to headache pain, but I use Advil for most training related pains as well.

Wouldn’t 14 ibuprofen cause some serious problems as well? People demonize Tylenol, but is either really a totally safe drug at that dose?

Alone and in the recommended dosage either product is safe. However do not use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) if taking any meds that are rough on the liver like certain oral super-supplements (wink) or with alcohol. Acetaminophen is already liver toxic and I find it only takes the edge off of pain but rarely relieves it. That’s the main reason I opt for Ibuprophen over Acetaminophen.

A.B.

[quote]Defender wrote:
I’ve heard that you can put your liver at risk by taking Advil on a regular basis, meaning you make it part of your daily routine. But I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

[/quote]

Advil is clared by the kidney, I have never seen any liver problems with it. THe kidney is the organ that takes the hit, if any will. If you look up the toxicology, problems are rare below 100 mg/kg. In recommended doses, you should be most concerned about your stomach…

Myth #10 of the The Top 10 Post Workout Nutrition Myths by Dave Barr.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=659666

"10. Aspirin and ibuprofen are good anti-inflammatories for muscle recovery.

The topic of muscle inflammation is pretty hot these days because it?s thought that minimizing this natural response will enhance recovery. By allowing us to hit the gym or get back on the field quicker, we can once again stimulate our bodies with a hard training session.

While the theory holds some water, we need to be careful how far we take it. For example, the use of traditional pain relievers, like aspirin and ibuprofen, has been increasingly common, because most people just don?t like the feeling of muscle soreness (T-Nation readers excepted because we?re hardly “most people”).

A common effect of these pain relievers is that they exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. This fact has excited some budding pseudo-scientists, because they reason that using these common drugs will reduce muscle inflammation and enhance recovery. Great theory, poor applicability.

Early research showed that post workout use of these drugs inhibited our natural production of a chemical necessary for muscle growth and repair (Trappe et al., 2001). Further investigation showed that sure enough, muscle protein synthesis was completely shut down when these drugs were combined with strength training (Trappe et al., 2002). As a final kick in the teeth, using these drugs resulted in no effect on either inflammation (Peterson et al., 2003), or muscle soreness (Trappe et al., 2002).

Essentially we get the worst of all worlds when combining nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprofen, with strength straining. Having said that, it is important to note that there are several different ways of affecting inflammation, some may be good, others are clearly bad. Keep in the back of your mind that limiting inflammation is a good idea, but certainly be aware that it is not universally beneficial."

–Tiribulus->

Tylenol = liver.
Advil = kidneys.

If you don’t go over the reccomended dosage neither will hurt you. OD on either can kill you. If I remember from pharmacology correctly it’s 1g/lb of BW that is fatal…I may be wrong on the number though.

If you are on gear - avoid the tylenol. It isn’t a good combination.

[quote]vagrant wrote:
Tylenol = liver.
Advil = kidneys.

If you don’t go over the reccomended dosage neither will hurt you. OD on either can kill you. If I remember from pharmacology correctly it’s 1g/lb of BW that is fatal…I may be wrong on the number though.

If you are on gear - avoid the tylenol. It isn’t a good combination.
[/quote]

I have seen fulminant liver failure resulting in death in an 8 gram dose of tylenol. 22 year old guy, cry for help. That’s 16 tablets. The LD50 (the dose that will kill 50% of the subjects) for tylenol in humans is 143 mg/kg.

Source: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/List_NTPStudies.jsp?Rec_Id=PC37321

I can’t find one for ibuprofen.

The death from tylenol OD takes about 2 weeks and is very uncomfortable. Tylenol is even more toxic when you take it with alcohol, so this isn’t recommended. As above, I wouldn’t touch the stuff on the gear.

Why are you taking the pain meds? Unless it’s a long-term problem prescribed under the supervision of a doctor, a better alternative is:

Find the problem causing the headache.

Fix the problem.

Don’t get the headaches.

As was already mentioned, it’s stupid to take them to reduce soreness from lifting given what we now know. Ice, contrast showers, proper nutritional supplementation, and massage are the ways to go.

-Dan

To be honest, I don’t get headaches very often. I definately don’t use Advil for muscle pain after exercise.

Basically, I had a headache one day and was taking an Advil when a pharmacist I know said “Don’t take Advil. It’ll mess up your liver. Take Tylenol instead.”

It sounded particularly alarmist to me, but was wondering if anyone had heard similar things 'cause I wasn’t exactly buying it. He must get a kickback for Tylenol sales or something. :slight_smile:

[quote]Kinetix wrote:
To be honest, I don’t get headaches very often. I definately don’t use Advil for muscle pain after exercise.

Basically, I had a headache one day and was taking an Advil when a pharmacist I know said “Don’t take Advil. It’ll mess up your liver. Take Tylenol instead.”

It sounded particularly alarmist to me, but was wondering if anyone had heard similar things 'cause I wasn’t exactly buying it. He must get a kickback for Tylenol sales or something. :)[/quote]

Tylenol is some toxic shit. I hate it.