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A 37-year-old member asked:

is tylenol (acetaminophen) more affective for children w certain kinds of virus/bacteria/stomach bugs and advil more affective w others? pediatrics

12 doctor answers29 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colin Kerr
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Tylenol (acetaminophen) vs Advil: These two otc medications are equally effective for the treatment of fever. Advil is slightly superior for the treatment of pain because it is an anti-inflammatory medication as well as an analgesic, whereas tylenol (acetaminophen) is only a mild analgesic. It does not matter at all what type of germ is causing the symptoms.
Dr. Timothy Thurston
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Jul 17, 2012
Dr. Joel Steckelman
Specializes in Pediatrics
I also agree
Apr 30, 2014
Dr. Cindy Daugherty
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Equal for fever: Acetaminophen (tylenol (acetaminophen)) and Ibuprofen (advil, motrin) perform equally well to bring down fevers. However, Ibuprofen is anti-inflammatory and tylenol (acetaminophen) is not. Some illnesses have more inflammation, and inflammation can cause discomfort. For those illnesses (ear infections, strep throat) kids might feel better if given Ibuprofen instead of tylenol (acetaminophen). Ibuprofen should not be given to babies <6 months.
Dr. Randy Butler
Pediatrics 34 years experience
No: Individuals respond differently to different medications. One person may respond better to tylenol (acetaminophen) while another one does better with advil. The type of illness does not determine which one is more affective. That is an individual response.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Not Really: There is no evidence that the infection generally requires these 2 drugs to be used specifically. In some cases one works better than the other, but the reason why is not clear.
Dr. Barry Bergman
Pediatrics 41 years experience
Both are good: Both are safe and good for fever and pain relief. They are not specific to any infection.
Dr. Shalabh Bansal
Pediatrics 13 years experience
Tylenol (acetaminophen) vs. Advil: Both are great at reducing fever, but tylenol (acetaminophen) is mainly for fevers whereas advil/motrin (ibuprofen) can be used for anti-inflammation. However, Ibuprofen should not be used in certain conditions like bleeding disorders and renal disorders.
Dr. Timothy Thurston
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Agree: Ibuprofen may be a little more acceptable for musculoskeletal pain.
Dr. Mehul SHETH
Pediatrics 18 years experience
No: There is no strong evidence that tylenol (acetaminophen) of advil are better for the pain/fever associated with infections (remember, advil/tylenol (acetaminophen) do not treat the underlying infection). However, in my practice, i found that some parents swore that tylenol (acetaminophen) worked better and others swore that advil worked better. See what your experience is with your kids and maybe you will find that one works better for you.
Dr. Joseph Bouvier
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Depends: Both can reduce fever and pain but Ibuprofen can also reduce inflammation. Some people react well with tylenol (acetaminophen) whereas other have better results with advil. I, personally have had better pain and fever relief with Ibuprofen (advil) but everyone is different.
Dr. Samuel Freedman
Pediatrics 9 years experience
Fever: They are both effective. Some children respond better to one or the other. These medications do not treat the primary infection -- only the associated fever or discomfort.
Dr. Jerry Casale
Pediatrics 38 years experience
Not really: I like Ibuprofen (advil) more i feel it gives longer coverage for fever or pain, i feel it has a better safety profile, it has better anti inflammatory action, however it is more stomach upsetting so with stomach pain or stomach bug tylenol (acetaminophen) is better.
Dr. Yash Khanna
Family Medicine 57 years experience
Both Are Effective: Both are effective and can be used for fever due to any infection due to any cause Tylenol is easy on stomach and advil (ibuprofen) can cause stomach upset in some

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Last updated Apr 20, 2017


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