Tylenol Side Effects

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Tylenol is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fevers.

Do not take more Tylenol than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific product you are taking.

Do not take Tylenol without a doctor’s advice if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You may not be able to take Tylenol. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking Tylenol.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.

Use Tylenol exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not take more Tylenol than is recommended. An overdose can damage your liver or cause death.

Measure the liquid form of Tylenol with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. You may need to shake the liquid before each use. Follow the directions on the medicine label.

If you are treating a child, use a pediatric form of Tylenol. Use only the special dose-measuring dropper or oral syringe that comes with the specific pediatric form you are using. Carefully follow the dosing directions on the medicine label. Tylenol made for infants is available in two different dose concentrations, and each concentration comes with its own medicine dropper or oral syringe. These dosing devices are not equal between the different concentrations. Using the wrong device may cause you to give your child an overdose of acetaminophen. Never mix and match dosing devices between infant formulations of acetaminophen. Shake the liquid before each use. Follow the directions on the medicine label.

The chewable tablet must be chewed thoroughly before you swallow it.

Stop using Tylenol and call your doctor if:

  • you still have a fever after 3 days of use;
  • you still have pain after 7 days of use (or 5 days if treating a child);
  • you have a skin rash, ongoing headache, or any redness or swelling; or
  • if your symptoms get worse, or if you have any new symptoms.

Tylenol can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using actaminophen.

Store Tylenol at room temperature away from heat and moisture.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Tylenol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

This is not a complete list of Tylenol side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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