Paracetamol and ibuprofen are the INN names of two of the most commonly used drugs to treat pain (analgesics) and fever (antipyretics).
They have a similar molecular structure and follow a mechanism of action related to cyclooxygenase inhibitionessential enzymes for the synthesis of prostaglandins, substances involved in pain, inflammation and fever.
The two drugs have similar indications, but the specific efficacy of each against certain symptoms is different.
The paracetamol is more effective against fever and pain than ibuprofen, but has no appreciable anti-inflammatory activityso it is also not effective for pain associated with inflammation.
For this reason, paracetamol is not usually classified in the group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), a group to which ibuprofen and other cyclooxygenase inhibitor drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) belong.®), naproxen, or celecoxib.
On the contrary, ibuprofen is more effective against inflammation but less as an antipyretic. It has medium efficacy as an analgesic, being especially effective against pain associated with inflammatory processes. Paracetamol, having no anti-inflammatory activity, is not effective when the pain is caused by inflammation.
Pain, inflammation and fever are three generic symptoms that usually appear together and are associated with very diverse diseases. The complementary efficacy between paracetamol and ibuprofen means that they are sometimes prescribed together.
Usually, there are no known harmful interactions between the two drugs and they can be taken together. But only in adults (over 16). However, although both drugs are available without a prescription, if you think both are necessary you should consult a health professional before taking them.
The children should not take ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time. They can be given together as a treatment but not be given at the same time but stagger the doses. For example, if the doses are being administered every 6 hours, paracetamol would be given at a certain time, ibuprofen at three hours, paracetamol again at three hours, and so on. Each is taken every six hours but the doses are administered every 3 hours in an alternating fashion.
As with adults, before combining both drugs in children, a health professional should be consulted. In any case, if after 48-72 hours the symptoms persist, you should go to the doctor so that he can make a diagnosis and appropriate prescription.