Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Try them when: Cold or heat isn’t enough.
How they work: Both types—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (such as Advil), and acetaminophen (Tylenol)—inhibit chemical pathways in the body that can produce pain. Since these medications are “purely for symptom relief,” says Katz, choose whichever you’ve responded to best in the past.
Good to know: Take NSAIDs with food, as they can cause nausea. And limit yourself to eight extra-strength acetaminophen tablets a day. (In rare cases, more can cause liver problems.)