The Best OTC Pain Reliever | Safe OTC Painkillers

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Over-the-counter (OTC) or non-prescription medicines such as OTC Pain Reliever are sold directly to customers without a prescription from healthcare professionals. In many countries, OTC drugs selected by a regulatory agency to ensure that they contain ingredients that are safe and effective when used without a doctor’s advice.

Some of the popular OTC medications that are used primarily to treat a condition that does not require the direct supervision of a doctor are headache, arthritis pain, sprains, and other minor joint and muscle problems.

The location of pain, its type, and the patient’s medical history and drugs, all these factors can have an impact on the type of OTC drugs best for the patient’s needs. Find the Best OTC Pain Reliever for your needs.

What is the best OTC Pain Reliever?

What are the best OTC Pain Relievers
What are the best OTC Pain Relievers

Over the counter pain, medications are often safe and effective, but it is only until you take a certain dose for a recommended time.

OTC Pain Relievers include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil),  naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) or diclofenac gel

The best OTC Pain Relievers are:

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Acephen): OTC Pain Reliever

Acetaminophen is an OTC medication used to treat pain, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fever. It is generally used as a mild to moderate pain reliever. It is marketed with the trade names Tylenol, Acephen, Fever ALL, etc. It is generally taken with other medications, such as in many cold medications. Read labels if you are taking multiple medications. It is the widely used OTC medication and often used for headaches, fever, and general aches, etc. Acetaminophen is the best OTC pain reliever for toothache.

How does Acetaminophen work? Irrespective, the lowering of the COX pathway activity by Acetaminophen is found to block the synthesis of prostaglandins in the CNS. And, this gives rise to its pain relieving and antipyretic effects.


It advised that not to take this medication for pain associated with swelling, as it has no anti-inflammatory effect. Please do not take this medication if you have liver diseases or consume alcohol in high volume.

The recommended dosage is 650-1000 mg every 6 hours as needed. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally but is also available by injection into a vein. The effects last between two and four hours for this one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever.

How long does Acetaminophen last?

The effects of Acetaminophen generally persist around 4 hours for pain relief and fever reduction. Hence, a person must not consume it more often.

How much Acetaminophen can you take?

Adults must not consume over 3,000 mg of single-ingredient Acetaminophen in a day. However, person can consume a less amount if he or she is more than 65 years in age. Taking in excess, particularly 7,000 mg or above, may give rise to severe overdose issues.

How long does it take for Acetaminophen to work?

Acetaminophen, one of the best OTC pain reliever can be used to treat pain and lower fever. However, the drug takes 15-30 minutes to act in the body.

Side effect of Acetaminophen:

People consuming Acetaminophen may experience side effects such as rashes, hives, red, peeling or blistering skin, itching, and inflammation on the face, eyes, throat, tongue, lips, ankles, hands, feet, or lower legs.

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Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin): OTC Pain Reliever

Aspirin is an OTC medication used to reduce pain, fever, and inflammation.  As per past research, a lower dosage of Aspirin reduces the risk of death from a heart attack. It is widely used as a pain reliever for minor aches, reduce fever and pains.

How does Aspirin work? Aspirin, one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever, falls under the class of drugs called salicylates. It acts by preventing the production of various natural substances responsible for causing fever, pain, inflammation, and blood clots.

Aspirin as OTC
Aspirin as OTC

Taking a daily low dose of medicine is not safe for everyone. One should avoid taking Aspirin if you are suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Allergy to aspirin
  • Tendency to bleed
  • Recent bleeding from your digestive tract
  • Active liver disease
  • Under 21 years of age

Never give Aspirin to minors, for it can cause very serious medical consequences. Take advice from your doctor before giving it to children.

The recommended dosage for this one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever is 325-650 mg every 4 hours as needed. It has gastrointestinal side effects, please avoid taking Aspirin if you are a chronic smoker or have ulcer disease.

How long does Aspirin stay in your system?

Aspirin stays in the body for less than 12 hours.

How long after taking Tylenol can you take Aspirin?

If a person requires an additional pain relief, he or she may combine Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, with Acetaminophen. Yet, avoid consuming Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen within 8 to 12 hours of each other.

How many aspirin can you take in a day?

Avoid consuming more than 12 tablets of Aspirin in 24 hours. Wait for a minimum of 4 hours between doses of this one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever.

How much Aspirin is too much?

The dose of Aspirin which is toxic for a person is 200 to 300 mg/kg. And, intake of 500 mg/kg is possibly lethal. In long-term overdose, a lower level of aspirin in the body may cause serious health problems.

What should be avoided when taking Aspirin?

Products that might show drug interactions with Aspirin may include: acetazolamide, anticoagulants such as warfarin, heparin), valproic acid, mifepristone, corticosteroids like prednisone), methotrexate, dichlorphenamide, herbal drugs including ginkgo biloba.

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Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Genpril): OTC Pain Reliever

Ibuprofen, OTC Pain Reliever
Ibuprofen, OTC Pain Reliever

Ibuprofen is an OTC medication of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug class that is used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. This may treat painful menstrual periods, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis.

How does Ibuprofen work? Ibuprofen belongs to the class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The medication exerts its action by lowering the production of hormones responsible for pain and inflammation in the body.

It is advised to avoid taking this medicine over the counter if you have any of the following health conditions: heart disease, history of stroke, hypertension, ulcers, asthma, liver or kidney disease and other related diseases. Avoid using Ibuprofen, one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever if you are pregnant. It is also advised not to take this medicine if you are taking multiple pain reliever medication at the same time. Never take Ibuprofen and alcohol as combining both can elevate the risk of GI bleeds and stomach ulcers.

Some of the Ibuprofen side effects can include headaches, indigestion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. The recommended dose is 200-400 mg every 6 hours or as needed. Buy best OTC Pain Reliever Ibuprofen online at a discounted price with OffshoreCheapMeds.

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How often can you take Ibuprofen?

Adults may generally consume one or two tablets (200mg) every 4-6 hours. Adults may consume 1 or 2 Ibuprofen 200mg tablets (200mg to 400mg) 3 to 4 times daily if required. However, they must not consume over 1,200mg (6 x 200mg) tablets in the duration of 24 hours. Children below 16 years of age are required to consume a lower dose, based upon their age of this one of the Best OTC Pain Reliever.

How long does it take for Ibuprofen to work?

A person must begin feeling better 20 to 30 minutes after consuming Ibuprofen tablets, liquid, capsules, granules etc. For some forms of chronic pain, people would require taking Ibuprofen often for up to three weeks for it to act properly in the body. If a person uses Ibuprofen on his or her skin, it must begin acting within one or two days.

What OTC pain reliever is safe during pregnancy?

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most favourable and best OTC Pain Reliever to use during pregnancy. It is usually safe and efficacious painkiller in all trimesters. Research proposes that around 65% of pregnant females use Acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Important Note on OTC Pain Reliever:

  • If you have any side effects, please contact your health practitioner for detailed information.
  • The above information is for awareness of health information only; it is advised to consult with your doctor before taking any medication.
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Which OTC pain reliever is best for liver?

Due to the proven safety profile (in advisable doses) and the absence of sedative effects and nephrotoxicity of Paracetamol, it is the most recommended analgesic in people experiencing liver disease such as cirrhosis.

What is the best OTC arthritis pain reliever?

NSAIDs are the successful oral medications for arthritis pain. These drugs involve Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Diclofenac (Voltaren), and Naproxen (Aleve).

What is the best OTC pain reliever for muscle pain?

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol) is the most suggested OTC pain reliever for muscle pain. The medicine targets inflammation, hence it is useful for joint pain, muscle pain, and sports injuries.

Which OTC pain reliever is best for headaches?

Research indicates Aspirin to be the OTC drug that acts towards relieving pain. Also, it is found that Ibuprofen acts in a better way compared to Acetaminophen. Discuss with the concerned healthcare provider about what is best for the person. Regardless of the type of OTC pain relief a person takes, it is vital to use only the advised amount.

What is the best OTC pain reliever for the elderly?

For many older adults, the safest and best OTC pain reliever medication for daily or recurrent use is Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Remember not to exceed a total dose of 3,000mg in a day.

Acetaminophen is generally known as Paracetamol outside the United States. The drug is processed by the liver. Also, in high doses the medication may cause severe, or at times serious or risky effects such as liver injury. Hence, if an elder patient has a history of long-term liver problem or alcohol abuse, then an even lower daily limit would be required.

When Aspirin is consumed in advisable doses, it may exert potential side-effects and rarely harms older adults. Not like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), it might not put elder adults at risk of internal bleeding. In addition, it appears to exert negligible impacts on heart and kidney working.

What is the best OTC pain reliever for nerve pain?

OTC treatments that work well for nerve pain include pain relievers. Some individuals experiencing neuropathic pain rely on familiar OTC analgesics such as Aspirin, Acetaminophen, or Ibuprofen. It may also include topical pain relievers. Many OTC creams and ointments work towards relieving nerve pain. 

Can I take an OTC pain reliever with Diclofenac?

It is safe to use Diclofenac with Paracetamol or Codeine. Avoid using Diclofenac with similar analgesics such as Aspirin, Naproxen, or Ibuprofen, without consulting with a doctor.

How much Ibuprofen can I take?

Adults may generally consume one or two tablets (200mg in strength) every four to five hours. However, they must not consume over 1,200mg (6 x 200mg) tablets in the duration of 24 hours.

Is Ibuprofen blood thinner?

Advil is not an anticoagulant medicine. It belongs to the category of medications called NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If a person is consuming an anticoagulant, it is better to discuss with the concerned doctor before taking Advil since it might impact the way of blood clotting in the person’s body.

What is the best OTC muscle pain reliever?

OTC pain relievers including Ibuprofen (Advil), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), or Naproxen sodium (Aleve) may assist in relieving occasional pain caused by muscular or joint activity like gardening after a winter indoors.

What is the strongest OTC pain reliever?

Both Ibuprofen and Naproxen are stronger compared to Aspirin, but Naproxen is the strongest OTC pain reliever available without a doctor’s prescription.

What is the best OTC Pain Reliever?

Naproxen (Aleve) is the strongest NSAID painkiller available without a prescription in the market. It is particularly efficacious for arthritis, sprains, sunburns, and other conditions. Similar Naproxen doses are expected to persist longer compared to other non-prescription analgesics.