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Pain medications can be used to treat pain from headaches, arthritis, migraines and even toothaches. Common pain medication options are acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil).

Acetaminophen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be taken to relieve the symptoms of pain, fever, headache, and inflammation. 

Ibuprofen is another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be taken for the same purposes as acetaminophen.

The downside to these drugs is that they don’t treat muscle stiffness or swelling.

So if your problem is aching muscles or inflammation, you might want to try Advil instead.

Cough and Cold Medications

A sore throat, a fever, or a cough can all be treated with over-the-counter remedies. Choose from the following:

  • Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan/guaifenesin)
  • NyQuil (acetaminophen and dextromethorphan)
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough (acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine/pseudoephedrine, and guaifenesin)
  • Expectorant Chest Congestion Relief (guaifenesin)


Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and can be bought over the counter. You can take antibiotics for colds, flu, ear infection, pneumonia, sinusitis and more.