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This is another NSAID that helps with pain. It works similarly to ibuprofen, and it relieves inflammation and fevers as well.

It may be a good choice for treating menstrual cramps, backaches, colds, headaches, toothaches, and arthritis.

Risks: The risk for stomach problems is the same as with other NSAIDs. But naproxen may be a safer choice than ibuprofen for people at risk of heart disease, some studies show.


Its pain-relieving origins go back over 2,000 years. But the aspirin you might have in your medicine cabinet today has come a long way. It belongs in the NSAID class of meds.

It may be a good choice for treating headaches, toothaches, colds, and fever.

Bonus: It slows blood clots from forming. Many doctors recommend one aspirin a day to help lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks in certain people.

Risks: If you take a daily aspirin, wait at least 30 minutes before taking any other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), since they can make the aspirin less effective if taken together. If you take the different NSAID first, wait 8 hours before taking aspirin.

Aspirin can cause upset stomach or, in rare cases, bleeding in the intestines or stomach. Don’t take any for more than 10 days straight without checking in with your doctor.

Be careful with kids . If your child or teenager has the flu, chicken pox, or any other viral infection, do not give her aspirin. Doing that is linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious childhood illness that can affect the brain and liver.

What's Right for You

The key is to find a treatment that works for you. If you're at risk for heart, liver, or kidney diseases, talk to your doctor before taking any medication.

If you want to avoid side effects or just want to try an alternative type of pain relief, some options include acupuncture, yoga, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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