Acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol?

East Afr Med J. 1990 May;67(5):302-10.


Paracetamol, a widely used non-narcotic analgesic, has the same analgesic, and antipyretic efficacy as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). In contrast to ASA, paracetamol has traditionally been claimed to have little or no anti-inflammatory effect. There is, however, increasing support for the view that paracetamol has anti-inflammatory activity and reduces pain and swelling in inflammatory conditions other than rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, paracetamol seems to be equally effective as ASA. Since ASA has a greater potential for adverse effects, paracetamol is increasingly preferred to ASA, particularly in children.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / adverse effects
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacokinetics
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / pharmacokinetics
  • Aspirin / pharmacology*
  • Child
  • Humans


  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin