Tylenol is a brand (trade) name for acetaminophen. Experts aren’t sure exactly how acetaminophen works, but suspect it blocks a specific type of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzyme, located mainly in the brain.
Effective for the temporary relief of minor aches, pains and headache. Also relieves fever but does not control inflammation.
First choice for mild-to-moderate pain due to its efficacy, minimal toxicity and low cost.
When used at low dosages, it lacks the gastrointestinal side effects associated with NSAID pain relievers (does not cause ulcerations, bleeding or perforations).
May be combined with strong opioids for the treatment of severe pain.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:
Rarely, may cause itchiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, and agitation. May cause gastrointestinal side effects at high dosages.
Potential for liver damage exists, even at recommended dosages. Risk is increased with higher dosages, with chronic alcohol use, with some medications, and in patients with significant liver disease.
Considered less effective for pain relief than NSAIDs but associated with a lower risk of side effects.
Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects