I’m sure that most of you will think this complaint isn’t very desideratum, but I feel that it is exactly this sort of deceptive marketing that fuels the ignorance of so many people. I’m not, not in this rant anyway, talking about the fact that it is a fever reducer, in which there are so many, yet not a single one is necessary for anything but the secondary use of pain relief. What’s worse is that I have yet to find a non-narcotic pain reliever that doesn’t reduce fever, if my child is sick and achy, I would like to help relieve his pain without sacrificing the beneficial and necessary fever. For one to reduce one’s fever is liken to one removing the airbag from their vehicle because once it’s deployed the white of the airbag won’t match the floor mats. And of course I’m digressing into fever-reduction as I initially said I wouldn’t.
No, no. My gripe is with the labeling of this child-targeted “medication”. Alcohol-free, absolutely, we don’t need to give our children alcohol. Aspirin-free, I’m certainly with you there, Reye’s Syndrome is deadly. But, Ibuprofen-free? This is clearly a marketing ploy by the Acetaminophen juggernauts, Tylenol, Triaminic, T-Panol, Tempra, and so on, to demonize their competition, which is actually a better pain reliever.
Acetaminophen is an antipyretic, which means its primary function is to reduce fever, it doesn’t help as much with pain as Ibuprofen does. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and seeing as inflammation is one of the more common causes of pain, along with its antipyretic properties reducing fever, it would be clearly favorable as opposed to Acetaminophen. The problem with NSAID’s though, is that they have a track record of causing and contributing to ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues, a side-effect that is greatly reduced by not taking the drugs on an empty stomach. Then you have Acetaminophen, whose primary and very common side-effect is liver damage. Let’s say you, and of course you shouldn’t do this, this is just a hypothetical scenario, take 20 Ibuprofen, over-the-counter is probably going to be 200mg per capsule. Well, now that, in this scenario, gobbled down 20 Ibuprofen you’re going to have some pretty rancid vomiting, profuse sweating, and a sever stomach ache. Now let’s take 20 Acetaminophen (no, let’s not… but this is for argument’s sake). Well, now you’ve taken 20 Acetaminophen, if you look in the mirror you can watch as the whites of your eyes turn yellow, and your skin turns yellow. It’s not from any type of coloring in the pill, it’s from Jaundice, one of the main tell-tale signs that your liver is about to fail. Now the confusion you’re experiencing is not from the amazement of the yellow skin, it’s because confusion is another side-effect of liver failure. So now you look like a taxi cab as you wobble over to the couch to get more comfortable as you slip into a coma and die. Acetaminophen is a dangerous drug, one reason is because a lot of people subscribe the idea that “more is better”, so if you have a really bad headache, you may start out with 4 Tylenol even though the recommended dosage is 2, but when this doesn’t help in 30 minutes like you think it should, you think you need to take 4 more, then another 4, and now you’re dead. Unfortunately that headache could’ve probably been more handled with something that deals with inflammation and only taken the proper dosage of Naproxen (Aleve), or Ibuprofen (Motrin).
Anyhow, this really isn’t about which is better or worse, this is more about a company labeling a product as if their safer alternative competitor is bad. I see it in the same light as if you were to buy a bag, or whatever it comes in, of meth-amphetamine and on the side of the bag is a little sticker that says “Tobacco-free”.