Health and MedicineMedicinesIbuprofen or paracetamol for sore throat

Ibuprofen or paracetamol for sore throat

When you have a sore throat, what is most recommended? Paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve and treat it? Find out in this article.

Throat infection is one of the most common causes of sore throat, which also causes inflammation, redness and pus production. Its origin can be fundamentally of two types: by viral contagion (the most common cause, especially in case of cold, flu and mononucleosis) or by bacterial contagion (for example by streptococcus, being a somewhat more serious condition).

There is no doubt that we all have had a sore throat at some point. That uncomfortable discomfort that appears especially when talking, when we swallow a drink or when we eat. In these cases, we always tend to look for a treatment or remedy to help us relieve it, which is not always very effective, especially when we tend to self-medicate and actually use medications that are not indicated according to the cause of the sore throat.

In case the cause is bacterial, antibiotics become the medical treatment of choice, as they are really effective. But when we are faced with a sore throat caused by a viral infection, there are no medical treatments that eliminate the virus, but only relieve the symptoms.

It is at this point that we come across ibuprofen and paracetamol, and also with the eternal question: which of the two drugs should we use to relieve a sore throat?

When we are faced with a sore throat caused by the flu or a common cold, many doctors consider it appropriate to take paracetamol, since it is a drug with analgesic action, which means that it is effective in reducing pain. Bearing in mind that the flu also causes fever (and this is one of the main differences with colds), paracetamol is also suitable as it is antipyretic (that is, it helps reduce and lower body temperature).

On the other hand, ibuprofen is anti- inflammatory, so it helps reduce throat inflammation that causes discomfort and pain, especially when we eat and swallow. Like paracetamol, it is also antipyretic.

As we can see, both medications share a similar medical action, as both are antipyretic, but while ibuprofen is anti-inflammatory, paracetamol is analgesic. That said, many doctors advise taking ibuprofen for a sore throat, since in most cases it causes inflammation.  While paracetamol is only used in the treatment of pain that does not involve inflammation (such as in the case of general malaise common in the flu, headache or bone pain).

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