I am not a huge fan of chemical painkillers and I try to use them sparingly but when I have a nasty ache or pain they very suddenly do become my best friend.
Like that one time when I fell running because my shoe got caught in my own pants!!! My knee looked horrible and swelled up to double the size: it all was pretty painful. So when I dragged myself to the closest pharmacy I was already contemplating whether to go for Paracetamol, Aspirin or Ibuprofen. That's usually the time when I ring my Dad for moral and practical support. I usually suffer through little headaches without pain medication but I also know when it's time to go for a little help. I went for Ibuprofen 400 – it takes the swelling down as well as relieving the pain.
I asked my Dad to put a guide together explaining the different uses of the three main types of over the counter painkillers.
In German pharmacies you can buy Paracetamol (Ben-u-ron), Ibuprofen (Ibu-Hexal, Dolormin) and acetylsalicylic acid = ASS (Aspirin) over the counter. In England they are even available in supermarkets and also any chemist (examples are Paracetamol: Panadol | Ibuprofen: Nurofen | ASS = Aspirin : Anadin)
The desired effect is identical in all three. Only because the three active ingredients work a little differently and take a different route through the body, there are slightly different outcomes depending on which painkiller you use.
Rule of THREE: Take pain killers three times a day for three days and your pain should be gone.
If you have a sensitive stomach do not use Aspirin and try to avoid Ibuprofen.
If you have asthma, Paracetamol is the one to go for.