What are the different classes OTC pain relievers and fever reducers?
The three classes of OTC analgesic/antipyretic medications are: • Salicylates: aspirin (also called acetylsalicylic acid or ASA), choline salicylate, magnesium salicylate, and sodium salicylate; • Acetaminophen • Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen. (Aspirin is also an NSAID, but it is considered separately from the other NSAIDs because it has some unique properties.) Each of these drugs is discussed in detail below. In most circumstances, these medications all have very similar abilities to relieve pain and fever. Their onset of action (the interval from the time of ingestion to the start of pain relief) also are similar. Naproxen sodium may have a somewhat longer duration of pain relief (analgesia) than the other NSAIDs or aspirin. At high doses, salicylates and NSAIDs suppress inflammation and are, therefore, particularly useful in treating inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. Acetaminophen does not have anti-inflammatory act