Tylenol vs Ibuprofen : I’m having a difficult... - PBC Foundation

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Tylenol vs Ibuprofen

JBH2000 profile image

I’m having a difficult time with Tylenol vs Ibuprofen. Tylenol just doesn’t help very much, where as ibuprofen really helps so much better. With my PBC, is it much better to always stick with Tylenol for aches and pains, or can I take ibuprofen?

Thank you for the help!!!

15 Replies

Hello JBH2000. I suffer from chronic joint pain and my gastro consultant is happy for me to take Ibuprofen for this. However, if I end up having to use daily at a high dosage, he has recommended blood tests after a month to see if my LFT’s are affected. My results are all in the normal range at the moment and I’m very early stages of PBC, so that may be why he’s okay with Ibuprofen. Best check with your consultant.

Waterbabe, I have an appointment with my GI next week. I go for bloodwork every 3 months. I’ll consult with him as well as my other specialists. Thanks!

Good luck for your appointment, hope you get some definitive answers and can find something to help the pain.

Me, too!!! These aches and pains are tough! Thx!

The general recommendation is for those of us with PBC to take Tylenol (paracetamol) at about half the dosage, Ibuprofen falls into the non steroidal anti inflammatory drug group which is, apparently, not so good for us. However each individual case is different dependant upon the reason for your pain. A little while ago I was prescribed a short course of co-codamol to resolve an issue. Can you speak to your primary carer who may be able to recommend a stronger pain killer. As an alternative dependant upon the cause of the pain sometimes some PBC sufferers have used Ibuprofen gel but again only for short periods of time.

JBH2000 profile image
JBH2000 in reply to butterflyEi

Thanks Butterfly. I have several doctors appt coming up- I’ll discuss. I’m stage 1 - but I have such joint aches and pains.

I had a bad reaction to paracetamol on a trip to Germany (it’s banned in the US due to liver toxicity), and it’s chemically a lot like Tylenol, so my doctor said no more tylenol. I used to take lots of ibuprofen. Now I know that causes leaky gut and … drum roll … leaky gut can trigger autoimmune diseases. My new strategy is none of the above. I’ve completely changed how I eat and an anti-inflammatory diet does more for pain than any pills I’ve tried that didn’t involve narcotics. Check out Dr. Amy Myers’ book, The Autoimmune Solution.” It was suggested to me by a doctor friend when I was first diagnosed and is full of great information.

JBH2000 profile image
JBH2000 in reply to Michi1

Thanks Michu - definitely going to check out that book!

Here is the U.S. we are not allowed to take Tylenol AT ALL. It is filtered through the liver and causes damage to the liver. Many have died from Tylenol overuse (not just people with liver issues, healthy people) it causes liver failure. My doctors and I have a lot of them tell me to take ibuprofen for any pain. I get migraines terrible and I have chronic joint pain. I used to be prescribed 800 mg ibuprofen. Now I only take 600mg as needed. I usually only take them once a month when I get my horrific migraines. Otherwise I just deal with the pain, which is awful and causes me to be very tired all the time. If I were you I would steer clear of any Tylenol at all. They only have people use it here who are healthy or have kidney issues. Good luck.

Texasliz profile image
Texasliz in reply to Cstar1079

My Hepa, who is a transplant specialist at Baylor Liver, says I can only take Tylenol. My maximum dose is 2,000 mg daily. No NSAID's, like ibuprofen.

Thank you ! That’s odd about the Tylenol. I saw the top liver doctor at My Sinai in NYC, and she prefers Tylenol first and foremost.

Yes, I have definitely heard people who abuse the dosage of Tylenol will have some severe problems from it. I just get a lot of hip pain and joint aches - ibuprofen works so much better!

JBH2000- that is odd about Tylenol. I try not to take anything, since my diagnosis but occasionally must for headaches. My doctor allows up to 4 Tylenol a day. No ibuprofen. I live on Long Island, and my doctor is part of Northwell. Top well know hepatology specialist. ( agree that ibuprofen always worked for me - much better)

JBH2000 profile image
JBH2000 in reply to 21parker

21Parker- thank you! Tylenol does not do much for me (by the end of the day I get some aches and pains) - so when they are bad, I take ibuprofen. Moderation - and not everyday!

Thank you 21! Stick to Tylenol at night, but sometimes with the aches and pains, I just use the ibuprofen - it helps so much better!

As long as you don’t take it long term, my liver doctor also at Mount Sinai said a bit of ibuprofen every now and then is fine.

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