Acetaminophen vs Aspirin – Difference and Comparison

What is Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen belongs to the analgesic and antipyretic category of drugs. It is known for its pain-relieving and fever-reduction properties. Other names like Tylenol and Paracetamol know it.

Acetaminophen is a generic name used in the US. Paracetamol is used by British. Tylenol is the brand name in which acetaminophen is an active ingredient. It is used to treat acute migraine, fever, body ache. It is known to cause liver damage and should be taken on prescription.

It is the safest choice and is used to treat pain during pregnancy. Even a breastfeeding mother can use it. It shows no harmful effect on the health of the baby and mother. It is also known to ease menstrual cramps.

Some side effects of using this medicine, that is faced are headache, vomiting, constipation, nausea, itching and insomnia.

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid has pain-relieving properties. It is anti-inflammatory. It reduces the chances of demise due to cardiac arrest. It thins the blood and lowers blood pressure. It proves to be useful in a lot of treatments.

Some of the problems like toothache, headache, joint pain, dysmenorrhea can be relieved by using aspirin.

It is known to cause an antiplatelet effect. This means that it stifles the action of platelets. It is not recommended to take it during pregnancy. Alcoholic drinks are not safe while using this drug.
It can cause indigestion, bleeding and stomach ulcers.

Some side effects can be encountered after using aspirin:
Gastrointestinal ulcers, indigestion, headache, upset stomach, cramps, abdominal pain and heartburn.

Difference Between Acetaminophen and Aspirin

  1. Acetaminophen is a drug that belongs to the antipyretic/analgesic category. On the other hand, Aspirin is NSAID.
  2. Acetaminophen is not a blood thinner and cannot avoid blood clots whereas aspirin has this property.
  3. Acetaminophen causes liver damage whereas aspirin is known to be less harmful to the liver.
  4. The chemical formula of acetaminophen is C8H9NO2. The chemical formula of aspirin is C9H8O4.
  5. Acetaminophen is a painkiller and fever reducer but aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Acetaminophen can treat the fever and pain caused by dengue but aspirin must not be used. It is rather harmful.
  7. Acetaminophen can be used during pregnancy whereas aspirin should not be used during pregnancy.
  8. Acetaminophen can be used for children during chickenpox for fever reduction. On the other hand, one must never use aspirin for chickenpox fever for children.
  9. Acetaminophen is considered safe for children but it is not recommended to give aspirin to children. It is rather for adults.

Comparison Between Acetaminophen and Aspirin

Parameters of ComparisonAcetaminophenAspirin
Drug typeAnalgesic/AntipyreticNonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug
Blood-thinning propertyIt doesn’t help in thinning the blood.It helps in thinning the blood.
Chemical formulaC8H9NO2 C9 H8O4
UsesFever reducer, a painkiller.Reduce Inflammation, arthritis, preventing heart attack by thinning the blood.
Side effectItching, constipation etc.Drowsiness, upset stomach, abdominal pain.
Effect on liverCan cause liver damage.Known to cause less damage than acetaminophen.
Dengue feverHelp reduce fever and pain during dengue.Should not be used during dengue fever. It is dangerous and can cause bleeding.
Use during pregnancyIt is the initial choice to treat pain during pregnancy.It should not be taken during pregnancy.