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Tylenol - How Much & How Often Can You Take It?

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in February of 2022. For the original video go to

Brad: Chris the pharmacist is here. We're happy to have him. We're going to discuss everything you need to know about Tylenol, so you get exactly what you need, and you know what you're doing. Chris, take it away.

Chris: All right, Tylenol. Pretty much one of the quintessential pain relievers that you can buy over the counter. Tylenol is Acetaminophen, or if you're over the pond, it's going to be paracetamol.

Brad: You mean in Europe?

Chris: Yep, UK.

Brad: What about everywhere else? Australia, everywhere else?

Chris: I don't know that one off the top of my head, but I'm going to guess it's going to be Acetaminophen or paracetamol. I don't know what it'd be like, say in Russia, or Morocco, I'm not sure. We're going to call it Acetaminophen.

Brad: Yep, sounds good. But that's the active ingredient.

Chris: That is the active ingredient. What it's used for is either for pain or for fever reduction, those are your kind of keys. One of the coolest things about Tylenol is it's just simply very safe stuff. So, unless you're having liver problems, which your doctor would let you know, and so if you're a heavy drinker, it's probably not the best choice for you. Well, realistically, alcohol goes through the liver. So, it's just something that if you're, somebody who drinks over three drinks a day on average, then it's probably something you should not use.

Brad: Okay.

Chris: Because it could actually create problems with long-term use.

Brad: So pain, it doesn't matter if it's a sprained ankle, a headache, or a stomach ache?

Chris: Yeah a sprain, a strain, or a headache, it works great. It is an analgesic. So basically, that just means you don't care about the pain. So, most adults will use the extra strength variety. It comes in two strengths. It's 325 milligrams or 500 milligrams. That happens to be a 500-milligramram bottle, and that's the extra strength. Most people use that because therapeutically you're just going to get a little bit more bang for the buck, so to speak.

Brad: So adults you said, it doesn't matter if it's a 100-pound adult or 300-pound adult?

Chris: Yeah 12 years old on up is kind of how they use that. So they consider most 12-year-olds use just in generalized terms. When using it for kids we dose it a little bit more specifically to their body weight. So if little Timmy got up with a fever in the middle of the night and you call your pharmacy they're going to ask for the child's weight and convert it to kilograms. And then you're going to calculate a dose, which is anywhere from five to 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

Brad: What does that mean? What do you give your kid? One of the 500mg?

Chris: No, no. You would use a liquid for a kid and you would calculate it out.

Brad: Oh, I see.

Chris: So there are liquid versions for children and there are even suppositories if they're throwing up all the time. So, there are a lot of different ways you can get Tylenol or Acetaminophen.

Brad: Yeah. That's great to know for people who have young children.

Chris: Yeah. If you have somebody that's really nauseous and vomiting and they just can't take anything by mouth, the suppository is a realistic option for you. Not that people will really enjoy rectal administration, but it's certainly something that's available when you're really sick and you need it. It definitely works.

Brad: Okay.

Chris: With respect to the dosing for an adult let's say, Brad, you have a bad headache. I'll tell you: "Hey Brad, why don't you try 1000 milligrams of Tylenol, which is two extra-strength tablets, and you can take it every four to six hours apart." The old standard was eight a day, but the new standard is six a day. That is a total of 3000 milligrams daily. So that's kind of your top end. Let's say it's, you have a headache that's bothering you for three days. Then you want to bring in your doctor and just say: "Hey I've got this headache, it's not going away."

Brad: So you take two extra strength Tylenol, three times a day, for three days, and if it's not gone?

Chris: You might want to make a phone call. Or if you see the pain getting worse, while you're taking it. So you just want to be careful. But the other cool thing about, Tylenol or Acetaminophen, if you're on blood thinners, so things like Warfarin, Eliquis, Xarelto, which are all drugs that are used for people that have clots or just something wrong, it's safe with that. It's one of the go-to's for us. And it's not rough on the stomach. So those are really the biggest things.

Brad: So you don't have to take it with food.

Chris: No.

Brad: Okay.

Chris: It's very safe. The other thing is, let's say you're feeling sick. You have COVID, you have the flu, you have a cold, and you have a fever and you're really uncomfortable, Tylenol great fever reducer. So it helps you to feel more comfortable, so that you can get the rest, to allow your body to help you to try and recover.

Brad: Okay. Any precautions that you didn't mention already?

Chris: No. I mean, you want to watch it with the alcohol use or if it was a liver problem and obviously, you know, allergies, that would be the other big case. It's the safe choice with blood thinners.

Brad: And, what's the best Tylenol to buy, I mean, Tylenol is Tylenol or what?

Chris: Tylenol is the brand name of Acetaminophen. I would tell you to buy the store equivalent, I mean, everything now is standardized. So it's all very safe and inexpensive. I would tell you unless they didn't offer generic, you could buy Tylenol but there's really no reason because it's the exact same. You walk into a store, and you're going to see Tylenol, and right next to that is the brand name, simply because you're just paying more for the name and a shinier prettier bottle and that's really about it.

Brad: Right. You pay for the name.

Chris: Well Acetaminophen doesn't roll off the tongue. When we're writing things down at work, we write APAP, so we don't write down Acetaminophen.

Brad: I see. Sure. Okay. Very good. I think that covers everything.

Chris: Yeah, I think so.

Brad: All right. Thank you.

Chris: Have a great day guys.

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