Motrin vs Tylenol – Which Is The Better Infant Fever & Pain Reliever?


It is the brand name of a drug called ibuprofen which belongs to the class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

It can be found both as an OTC and a prescription medication. The prescription form is used to treat primary dysmenorrhea as well as for the relief of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis mild to moderate pain. The OTC form is used both to treat minor pains and aches, plus, it can be used to reduce fever.

This medication was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1974.


This medication is used for the temporary relief of fever. Also, it is used for the treatment of painful menstrual periods and arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) symptoms, including stiffness, pain, and swelling.

Note – this drug does not cure these types of arthritis.

It is typically used for pain relief, especially for – foot pain, back pain, knee pain, toothache, and headache. In general, it is used for pain relief following a straining a muscle, a medical procedure, as well as pain caused by inflammation of a tendon or bursa.


For fever reduction in children, 6 months up to 2 years of age, the dosage should be adjusted on the basis of the initial temperature level.

The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg if the baseline temperature is less than 102.5ºF. It typically starts working within an hour and should last at least six hours.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old without the advice of a healthcare professional. Furthermore, give the least amount of drug required to help the child feel better.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Ibuprofen

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach upset;
  • constipation;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • diarrhea;
  • dizziness;
  • heartburn;
  • bloating;
  • intestinal gas.

Rare side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain;
  • cloudy urine;
  • full feeling;
  • a decrease in the amount of urine;
  • pale skin;
  • discomfort in the chest;
  • itching skin;
  • shortness of breath;
  • rattling breathing;
  • difficulty having a bowel movement;
  • unusual bleeding;
  • excess air in the intestines;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • vomiting;
  • troubled breathing at rest;
  • agitation;
  • blurred vision;
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools;
  • unusual weakness;
  • change in vision;
  • blood in urine;
  • bleeding gums;
  • small raised lesions on the skin;
  • hoarseness;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • swelling of face, hands, fingers, feet, or ankles;
  • depression;
  • loosening of the skin;
  • extreme fatigue;
  • dilated neck veins;
  • thinning of hair;
  • racing heartbeat;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • irritability;
  • general body swelling;
  • nosebleeds;
  • muscle twitching;
  • loss of appetite.

Do not use this medicine if you:

  • are breastfeeding;
  • are already pregnant;
  • are trying to get pregnant;
  • have asthma;
  • have taken any other NSAID;
  • have taken aspirin;
  • have previously had a reaction to this medicine in the past, including – swelling of the inside of your nose, swelling underneath your skin, or an itchy red rash.

Important Notes

According to clinical trials, the use of this drug poses an elevated risk for serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, stroke (when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced), and myocardial infarction. These life-threatening risks are higher for individuals who have risk factors for cardiovascular disease or who use this drug for a long time.

A study of pregnant women concluded that women who took any amount of NSAIDs have 2.4 times increased chances to miscarry than women who didn’t use these medicines. Also, using this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby.


It is the brand name of acetaminophen (also referred to as APAP due to its chemical name – acetyl-para-aminophenol) which belongs to a class of painkillers called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). This drug works by reducing the production of prostaglandins (natural chemicals that cause swelling and inflammation) in the brain.


It is typically used to treat mild to moderate pain that is caused by menstrual periods, headaches, backaches, toothaches, osteoarthritis, or cold/flu pains as well as to reduce fever.


This drug comes as a chewable tablet, tablet, capsule, orally disintegrating tablet, or solution (liquid), extended-release (long-acting) tablet. Use only the number of mg per dose which is recommended for the child’s age and weight. Do not take more than 5 doses of APAP in 24 hours.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Acetaminophen

Common side effects may include:

  • shortness of breath;
  • lightheadedness;
  • dizziness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • skin rash;
  • tarry stools;
  • unusual bruising;
  • cloudy urine;
  • yellow eyes or skin;
  • fever with or without chills;
  • unusual tiredness;
  • a sore throat;
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine;
  • white spots in the mouth;
  • red spots on the skin;
  • pain in the lower back.

Combining this medication with alcohol can double the risk of kidney disease, according to a 2013 study done by American Public Health Association.

Motrin vs Tylenol – Which Is Better For Infants?

Motrin (ibuprofen) belongs to a group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, that work by inhibiting chemicals (prostaglandins) which can cause inflammation in the human body.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is an over-the-counter and prescription pain reliever, which is considered safe to take, even for small kids. It belongs to a group of medicines called analgesics, that help stop the spread of pain signals (by blocking the enzyme which produces prostaglandins) from the brain to the body.

According to the data, ibuprofen lasts a little longer, works a little faster, and seems to bring a fever down faster. Furthermore, acetaminophen reduces fever and provides pain relief, however, unlike ibuprofen, it has no effect on inflammation. On a positive note, unlike ibuprofen, acetaminophen does not cause problems with acid reflux or stomach pain because it has no activity in the stomach.


For very high fevers, you can give a dose of Ibuprofen, then three hours later give Acetaminophen, then three hours later Ibuprofen, and so on.

Treating your child’s fever with both these drugs can make the child more comfortable, however, it will not make the infection go away any faster.

Natural Treatments For Fever And Pain

#1 Ginger

It has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties which help the immune system fight any type of infection. More importantly, it helps the body expel heat, that in turn helps reduce fever.

#2 Bromelain

It is an enzyme found in pineapples that helps the body to fight indigestion, allergic reactions, inflamed connective tissue and muscles, and sinus infections.

#3 Cayenne Pepper

One of its main active plant substances is capsaicin, the hot ingredient which makes you sweat, but also promotes rapid blood circulation.

#4 Turmeric

It is one of the most potent spices in the world. Turmeric contains the active ingredient called curcumin which acts similar to many allopathic medications because it has anti-inflammatory effects.

#5 Basil

Its healing properties will help reduce fever very quickly.

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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