ER study finds ibuprofen leading pain reliever

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When it comes to reducing fevers and easing pain, parents have two choices: Ibuprofen, sold under the brand names Motrin or Advil, and acetaminophen, or Tylenol. If you've used either, then you know that both are effective fever reducers and both tackle childhood pains (such as teething) pretty well.

A study of 300 children in a Canadian ER recently put ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and codeine to the test to see which was most effective at relieving the pain of broken bones, sprains, and strains. Ibuprofen was the clear winner. An hour after taking the pain reliever, children who took ibuprofen reported their pain to be 24 points lower (on a 100-point scale), while kids in the acetaminophen and codeine groups only reported 12 and 11 point relief, respectively.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, which may explain why it works better in these types of injuries. Ibuprofen also works longer -- six to eight hours, as opposed to four to six hours in Tylenol. This study looked only at ibuprofen use in injuries, however. To decide what pain reliever is best for your child, talk to your doctor.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.