Tylenol is a popular pain reliever and fever reducer. You may have heard of Tylenol or used it yourself, but do you know what it is, who can take it, and what it can treat?
What is Tylenol?
Tylenol is the brand name of a drug called acetaminophen, which is also known as paracetamol in some countries. It belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics (painkillers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). It works by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the brain that cause pain and inflammation.
Tylenol is available in different forms, such as tablets, capsules, liquids, chewables, dissolvables, and suppositories. You can buy Tylenol over-the-counter (without a prescription) or with a prescription from your doctor.
Who can take Tylenol?
Tylenol is generally safe and effective for most people, but there are some exceptions. You should not take Tylenol if you are allergic to acetaminophen or any of the ingredients in the product. You should also avoid Tylenol if you have severe liver disease or drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your doctor before taking Tylenol. Children under 2 years old should only take Tylenol with a doctor’s advice. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more than the recommended amount or for longer than directed.
What does Tylenol treat?
Tylenol can treat a variety of conditions that cause mild to moderate pain or fever, such as:
– Colds or flu
– Muscle aches
– Menstrual cramps
Tylenol can also be used as an adjunct (add-on) to other pain medications, such as opioids, for moderate to severe pain. However, you should only do this under your doctor’s supervision and be careful not to exceed the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen.
What are the side effects of Tylenol?
Tylenol is usually well tolerated and has few side effects. However, some people may experience:
– Stomach pain
In rare cases, Tylenol can cause serious side effects, such as:
– Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing)
– Skin reactions (redness, blistering, peeling)
– Liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored stools)
If you notice any of these symptoms, stop taking Tylenol and seek medical help right away.
What are the precautions for taking Tylenol?
To use Tylenol safely and effectively, you should:
– Read the label carefully and check the ingredients
– Do not use other products that contain acetaminophen at the same time
– Do not drink alcohol while taking Tylenol
– Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets
– Measure liquid doses with a proper device (not a household spoon)
– Call your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens
– Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking