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Advil Sinus Vs. Tylenol Sinus

author image Emily DeSerio
Emily DeSerio has been a freelance writer since November 2009. DeSerio works in the mental health field as a clinical social worker. She began her higher level education at the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.A. in English and went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree at USF as well.
Advil Sinus Vs. Tylenol Sinus
Advil Sinus and Tylenol Sinus sound simular, but have different functions. Photo Credit: sprng23/iStock/Getty Images

Sinus issues affect more than 35 million Americans, according to Dr. Murray Grossan, an eye, nose and ear specialist. Most sinus problems are treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Advil Sinus or Tylenol Sinus. While the drugs found in both products have a similar function, you should be aware of the differences. Before taking any OTC drug, research it and talk to your doctor.

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Advil Sinus is a combination of ibuprofen and phenylephrine. Tylenol Sinus contains phenylephrine as well, but instead of ibuprofen, it uses acetaminophen. Phenylephrine is a common OTC decongestant used to reduce swelling in the sinus cavity, making it easier to breathe and enabling excess mucus to drain properly. Ibuprofen (in Advil Sinus) is a nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory pain reliever and fever reducer. Acetaminophen is the main active ingredient in all Tylenol products. It is a pain reliever and fever reducer.

Phenylephrine Function

Both drug products are used for people suffering from sinus congestion and pain. The main ingredient in both products, phenylephrine, reduces the blood flow to the nasal cavity, allowing the swollen tissue to shrink, enabling air to pass more freely, according to Phenylephrine is also used to treat inner ear congestion that is blocking tubes in the ears from draining.


Taking Tylenol or Advil Sinus can prevent the development of a sinus infection. These medications are able to temporarily treat sinus issues related to eye, head, ear or tooth pain. If your sinuses are disrupting your job performance or daily routine, these medications can offer relief so you can function normally.

Tylenol Vs. Advil Considerations

Tylenol is commonly used to treat fever and headaches. Due to its lack of anti-inflammatory properties it is not typically used to treat arthritis or other body aches. Tylenol does not upset the stomach so someone suffering from gastrointestinal issues should use Tylenol over Advil. An overdose of Tylenol can lead to liver damage according to

Advil is considered a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs work by reducing the amount of hormones that contribute to inflammation in the body. Advil helps sinus issues because most of the time the sinus cavity is inflamed and irritated. Advil is not recommended to be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers.


Do not take Tylenol Sinus if you are allergic to either acetaminophen or phenlephrine. Follow the directions and do not take more than recommended when taking Tylenol Sinus. Drinking more than three alcoholic drinks in a day is not recommended when taking Tylenol Sinus. Do not combined Tylenol Sinus with any other cold, allergy or sinus medications before talking with a doctor.

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