Hit the town a little too hard last night and now if feels as if the town’s hitting back inside your head? Run a half-marathon and now your back hurts so much you think you must have been half-crazy to do it? Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen and paracetamol are all good choices.
If you want to play medical MacGyver, just add a little caffeine and you’ll supercharge your pain killer without any additional medicine. That’s the reason some medicines like Excedrin add caffeine to the pill itself – Excedrin typically has 65mg of caffeine per pill.
Simply, manufacturers add caffeine to their pills to make them work better. A study in “The Journal of the AMA” (American Medical Association) compared 30 studies of that took place over a 20 years. One of the findings was that adding caffeine to products like Tylenol (acetaminophen) boosted its performance by 20 to 30 percent.
In 2000, researchers from the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago analyzed the effectiveness of caffeine combined with Advil (ibuprofen). Volunteers were given ibuprofen alone, ibuprofen with caffeine, caffeine alone or a placebo. Caffeine & ibuprofen together provided better pain relief.
Do you need a lot of caffeine? Not really. Scientists from Johns Hopkins compared the effect of a placebo, 50, 100 and 150 mg doses of ibuprofen alone or combined with caffeine. The most significant were from the combo of even low dose of caffeine and ibuprofen, up to 2.4 times as powerful as taking ibuprofen by itself.