Solubilized Ibuprofen Fastest Non-Prescription Painkiller

May 11, 2011 at 2:00 am 4 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you get a lot of headaches, you might be dehydrated and need to drink more water. If you’ve tried that and you’re otherwise healthy, then you probably want the fastest over-the-counter drug you can buy.

Typical painkillers come in a number of formats:

  • Liquids
  • Liquid Gels
  • Chewable Tablets
  • Capsules/Caplets
  • Hard Tablets

This list is in order of the quickest for your stomach to break down. Generally, the harder it is for your stomach to breakdown the pill, the longer it will take to mitigate your pain. While the format does impact the speed of absorption, the drug itself does too.

In one scientific study, researchers found that solubilized ibuprofen (active ingredient in Advil Liqui-gels) was faster at curing headaches than acetaminophen (Tylenol). The median time for solubilized ibuprofen was 39 minutes while acetaminophen had a 53 minute median time.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you should take Advil over Tylenol. If you’re not sure which you should take, start by looking at this comparison of common over-the-counter painkillers and talking to your doctor.

Generic brand solubilized ibuprofen is available at many pharmacies too.

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Sources:, Wikipedia (Tylenol, Paracetamol, Advil)

Entry filed under: Health and Beauty. Tags: , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristen  |  May 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the great info. I always wondered if the liquid gels were just a marketing gimick, but know I know they do work faster

  • 2. Klonopin  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm

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    You have exposed my own face for you to numerous opinion of this matter together with intriquing, notable and reliable written content.

  • 3. Joe  |  August 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    IB is as bad for the stomach as aspirin. (?)
    I noticed that when I took solubilized ibuprofen on an empty
    stomach I would get a burning sensation, DUH!

    So this is a reminder to take IB with some food and not on an empty stomach if you care about your stomach lining. :-)

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