We examined the effect of two commonly consumed over-the-counter analgesics, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, on muscle protein synthesis and soreness after high-intensity eccentric resistance exercise. Twenty-four males (25 +/- 3 yr, 180 +/- 6 cm, 81 +/- 6 kg, and 17 +/- 8% body fat) were assigned to one of three groups that received either the maximal over-the-counter dose of ibuprofen (IBU; 1,200 mg/day), acetaminophen (ACET; 4,000 mg/day), or a placebo (PLA) after 10-14 sets of 10 eccentric repetitions at 120% of concentric one-repetition maximum with the knee extensors. Postexercise (24 h) skeletal muscle fractional synthesis rate (FSR) was increased 76 +/- 19% (P < 0.05) in PLA (0.058 +/- 0.012%/h) and was unchanged (P > 0.05) in IBU (35 +/- 21%; 0.021 +/- 0.014%/h) and ACET (22 +/- 23%; 0.010 +/- 0.019%/h). Neither drug had any influence on whole body protein breakdown, as measured by rate of phenylalanine appearance, on serum creatine kinase, or on rating of perceived muscle soreness compared with PLA. These results suggest that over-the-counter doses of both ibuprofen and acetaminophen suppress the protein synthesis response in skeletal muscle after eccentric resistance exercise. Thus these two analgesics may work through a common mechanism to influence protein metabolism in skeletal muscle.