Aspirin vs. Panadol

What's the Difference?

Aspirin and Panadol are both commonly used over-the-counter medications for pain relief and fever reduction. However, they differ in their active ingredients and mechanisms of action. Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which belongs to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) class. It works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation. On the other hand, Panadol contains paracetamol (acetaminophen), which is not an NSAID. It works by blocking pain signals in the brain and reducing fever. While both medications are effective in relieving mild to moderate pain and reducing fever, Aspirin has additional anti-inflammatory properties, making it more suitable for conditions involving inflammation, such as arthritis. However, Aspirin may have more potential side effects, such as stomach irritation and increased bleeding risk, compared to Panadol. Therefore, the choice between the two depends on the specific needs and medical history of the individual.


Brand NameAspirinPanadol
Generic NameAcetylsalicylic AcidParacetamol
UsesPain relief, fever reduction, anti-inflammatoryPain relief, fever reduction
Available FormsTablets, capsules, chewable tabletsTablets, capsules, liquid, suppositories
DosageVaries depending on condition and ageVaries depending on condition and age
Side EffectsStomach irritation, bleeding, allergic reactionsRare, but may include allergic reactions
InteractionsInteracts with certain medications and health conditionsInteracts with certain medications and health conditions
OverdosePotentially dangerous, can cause severe symptomsPotentially dangerous, can cause severe symptoms

Further Detail


When it comes to over-the-counter pain relief medications, two popular options are Aspirin and Panadol. Both medications are widely used for their analgesic and antipyretic properties, but they have distinct differences in terms of their active ingredients, mechanisms of action, side effects, and recommended usage. In this article, we will explore the attributes of Aspirin and Panadol, highlighting their similarities and differences to help you make an informed decision about which medication may be more suitable for your needs.

Active Ingredients

Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is derived from salicylic acid, a compound found in plants such as willow bark. It belongs to the class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). On the other hand, Panadol contains the active ingredient paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen. Paracetamol is not classified as an NSAID, but it is still effective in relieving pain and reducing fever.

Mechanism of Action

Aspirin works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that play a role in inflammation, pain, and fever. By blocking the action of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), Aspirin reduces the production of prostaglandins, thereby alleviating pain and reducing inflammation. In contrast, Panadol works primarily by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins in the central nervous system, which helps to lower fever and relieve pain. However, the exact mechanism of action of paracetamol is not fully understood.


Both Aspirin and Panadol are commonly used to relieve mild to moderate pain, including headaches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle aches. Additionally, they can help reduce fever associated with various conditions such as the common cold or flu. However, it is important to note that Aspirin has additional indications due to its antiplatelet properties. It is often prescribed to prevent blood clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in individuals with certain cardiovascular conditions.

Side Effects

While Aspirin and Panadol are generally considered safe when used as directed, they can both have side effects. Aspirin may cause gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers, indigestion, or even bleeding in some individuals. It can also increase the risk of bleeding, especially when taken in high doses or for prolonged periods. On the other hand, Panadol is generally well-tolerated, but it can occasionally cause liver damage when taken in excessive amounts or in combination with alcohol. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects.

Usage in Special Populations

Aspirin is not recommended for use in children and teenagers due to the potential risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the liver and brain. However, it may be prescribed by a doctor in certain cases, such as for the treatment of Kawasaki disease. Panadol, on the other hand, is generally considered safe for use in children and is often used to relieve pain and reduce fever in pediatric populations. Nevertheless, it is crucial to follow the appropriate dosage instructions based on the child's age and weight.

Drug Interactions

Both Aspirin and Panadol can interact with other medications, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the drugs you are taking. Aspirin can interact with blood thinners, such as warfarin, and increase the risk of bleeding. It may also interact with certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors or diuretics. Panadol, on the other hand, has fewer known drug interactions, but it can enhance the effects of certain medications that affect liver function, such as alcohol or certain antibiotics.


Aspirin and Panadol are both widely used over-the-counter pain relief medications with distinct attributes. Aspirin, with its active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid, belongs to the NSAID class and offers additional benefits as an antiplatelet agent. Panadol, containing paracetamol, is not an NSAID but is effective in relieving pain and reducing fever. While both medications have potential side effects and drug interactions, they are generally safe when used as directed. It is important to consider your specific needs, medical history, and consult a healthcare professional to determine which medication is most suitable for you. Remember, always follow the recommended dosage and seek medical advice if you have any concerns or experience adverse effects.

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