Personal Health

Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac acts As quickly your pain pill

Pain tablets should, if possible, act quickly. But how much waiting time is normal? The package insert is silent. An expert explains what it depends on when the effect starts and how long the relief lasts.

  • A full stomach slows down the Passage of the drug and thus the pain relief.
  • Effervescent tablets act faster than enteric coated pills.
  • Interaction with other medicines may interfere with the effect of the pain pill.

Who wakes up with a headache or a Tweak in the knee can feel, grasps quickly the pain-killer. Aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Diclofenac, is one of the four most common remedy for pain has almost pharmacy everyone in the house. But it takes a different length, until the tablet is the peinigende feeling disappear. What is the reason?

“How quickly a drug acts is a matter of bioavailability. It depends on two factors: the patient’s individual requirements, and the galenic formulation, the dosage form of the drug,“ says the pharmacologist Kay Brune of the University of Erlangen.

This is one of the individual requirements:

  • Weight and age play for the bioavailability of painkillers, while not role.
  • In a petite Person, the active ingredient, but faster its way into the bloodstream as a in Overweight.
  • A full stomach delays the Passage of the tablet and thus the effect.
  • In addition, a number of other drugs affect the effect of analgesics.

This effect of the structure of the tablet has:

  • Whether effervescent tablet or capsule, caplet or granule – the composition of a painkiller (technically: the galenic formulation), the bioavailability.
  • Bioavailability is understood to be reached, how quickly and in what quantity of the active ingredient to the location of pain.
  • So, the drug comes from a tablet that dissolves in the stomach, faster in effective amounts to the site of the pain events as from a gastric juice-resistant Coating. This dissolves in the small intestine and goes directly into the bloodstream.

The importance of the half-value time:

  • How long the pain lasts still the end effect of a tablet, depends not only on the bioavailability of the half-life: Then one-half of the drug is still in an active Form.
  • The half-life is long, and it is enough for a low replenishment, the pain get nursing with concentration.


And so the four substances act, the pain-stricken swallow most frequently in Germany:

How fast Aspirin works?

Acetylsalicylic acid (Asa) is water-soluble and is absorbed in the stomach. The bioavailability is 50 to 70 percent. As a effervescent tablet, the full effect sets in after 20 minutes. As a tablet an hour until the pain subsides needed ACE. After two hours, the half-value time.

How fast Paracetamol?

It is considered to be the weakest of painkillers. The maximum effective concentration is reached after 60 minutes. The half-life is one hour. Febrile children received Paracetamol as a suppository. Thus, a bioavailability of up to 90 percent is achieved, with the highest concentration after three to four hours.

How fast Ibuprofen works?

The active ingredient Ibuprofen is up to a dosage of 400 milligrams of over-the-counter available. The bioavailability is 80 to 100 percent. After about one to two hours, the maximum concentration is reached. The half-life is two to four hours. Ibuprofen works best when taken on an empty stomach.

How fast will Diclofenac work?

The most famous of Diclofenac as a pain ointment for joints and sports injuries. “Whether it’s really sufficient quantities of the drug pass from the skin into the painful joint, is unclear,” says the pharmacologist Kay Brune. Tablets of 25 milligrams over-the-counter higher doses require a prescription. “The 25 milligrams of Diclofenac correspond to 400 milligrams of Ibuprofen,” says Kay Brune.” The bioavailability of the tablets varies with 30 to 80 percent. “Tablets with an acid-resistant Coating can remain many hours in the stomach,” says the painkillers expert. On the other hand, Diclofenac appears to be very long, up to 20 hours. “This is because the active ingredient in the tissue accumulates, and the painful inhibits prostaglandins persistently.”

Liquid works the fastest

In Detail, it is of course much more complicated, such as a drug to intervene in the pain cycle, and what factors influence the effect. The upshot for the user is:

  • Who needs the fastest possible pain relief, is operated with Liquid forms of the best. Effervescent tablets, granules or soft capsules act after 20 minutes.
  • Who wants his stomach to conserve, you should at least take ACE, never sober. It is different with Ibuprofen, its use prevents a full stomach.
  • Paracetamol is excreted fastest, the frequent intake or too high a dose but cause liver problems.