23 May Caffeine boosts a pain pill’s effectiveness about 40%
Ever wished your over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), could work better without having to take more of it? It can! All you have to do is consume caffeine with the medication. Research shows that caffeine boosts the effectiveness of a painkiller by about 40%.(1)
Why? Caffeine helps usher the medication into your bloodstream faster. Plus, caffeine is a mild analgesic on its own.
The optimal dosage is at least 100 mg. of caffeine, which can be found in one eight-ounce cup of coffee and about two eight-ounce cups of black tea.
When possible, I prefer to recommend pain remedies that do not involve pain pills since they come with significant health risks, such as stomach bleeding and liver damage. However, being a realist, I know that many people take them (including myself sometimes), so if you’re going to use them, then you may as well get the most out of them.
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(1) Eugene M. Laska, et al., “Caffeine as an Analgesic Adjuvant,” JAMA, 251 (1984): 1711-1718.