Headaches accompanied by fever may be treated with paracetamol alone or a combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen. However, if a disease such as dengue is considered, ibuprofen should be avoided as it can promote hemorrhaging. Paracetamol is also safer to use during pregnancy and before and after major surgeries.
Aspirin vs. Ibuprofen
Aspirin and ibuprofen both have the same mechanism of action as NSAIDs. The main difference is that aspirin is an irreversible blocker of the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, while ibuprofen is reversible. This means that both the positive and negative effects of aspirin are stronger and last longer. Aspirin is useful for headaches, mild body pain, and fever.
Aspirin is notorious for adverse effects such as GI upset, ulceration, and bleeding. This is one of the reasons why its dose is much smaller than the other NSAIDs.
Many adults take low-dose or “baby” aspirin daily to prevent cardiovascular events like stroke. However, this should only be done if your doctor has advised you to. In addition, do not give aspirin to children, especially those who have a fever caused by a viral infection (e.g. chicken pox). It may cause Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare but potentially fatal adverse effect.
Because of its irreversible blocking, aspirin is more likely to induce or worsen asthma symptoms than other NSAIDS. While prostaglandin and pain is reduced, a substance called leukotriene is increased which causes bronchoconstriction and mucus production. People with asthma should avoid taking aspirin if they notice their asthma symptoms getting worse.
Mefenamic acid vs. Ibuprofen
Lastly, mefenamic acid is another NSAID that treats headaches and body pains. Additionally, mefenamic acid is often used to treat migraines, toothaches, arthritis pain, and dysmenorrhea.
Both these drugs have essentially the same effects. Most studies and data show no significant difference in terms of effectiveness. Side effects of mefenamic acid and ibuprofen are similar, including GI disturbances and bleeding.