Though the standard adult dose of most pain relievers is two tablets, try just one, especially for a minor ache. It may be all you need and a lower does reduces the possibility of side effects.
More advice on pain relievers:
- Take it sooner rather than later. An ache is much harder to control once it's raging. You can certainly overdo it — you don't want to go running to the medicine cabinet for every little imagined twinge — but if you know a genuine ache is coming on, a small dose early may do the trick.
- If the pain is persistent or stronger, take one each of ibuprofen (e.g. Advil) and acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol). They work via different mechanisms and taken together, can be more effective.
- Be extra careful with acetaminophen (Tylenol) because in rare instances, overdose can wreck your liver.
The important thing is to know your body and figure out what works for you. With experimentation, you can take a lower dose, less frequently.