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Despite the fact that one can buy Tylenol without a prescription, this analgesic may cause side effects. Risk of these effects is minimal, but it cannot be completely ruled out, especially if the drug is taken incorrectly.
This review is devoted to common and rare side effects of Tylenol. In this review, you can also find out more information about Tylenol and get answers to the following questions about adverse reactions:
- What does contribute to their occurrence?
- How to reduce their risks?
- What to do if they arise?
It should be noted that Tylenol is well tolerated by patients and very rarely causes negative reactions. That is why this drug is available for sale without a prescription and is used to treat various types of pain in elderly, adults, adolescents and children. Low doses of this analgesic can be used to reduce soreness in toddlers and infants.
Side effects of Tylenol are mild or moderate, at least for most patients. Serious reactions are very rare. In general, adverse reactions are short-term, disappear on their own and do not imply termination of Tylenol use.
Side effects of Tylenol may occur in the following cases:
- Use of the first dose
- Use of an excessive dose
- Change in dosing regimen
- Increase of a daily dose
- Use of a tablet less than 4 hours after the previous one
- Concomitant use with other analgesics
Like most other analgesics, Tylenol is usually taken orally. After absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, Tylenol is relatively evenly distributed in the blood and in most other body fluids.
Tylenol contains an active substance Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) which can affect the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Commonly, such influence is insignificant, but sometimes thrombocytopenia or agranulocytosis occurs.
Thrombocytopenia is a state in which platelets level in the blood decreases. If the patient knows that he does not have enough platelets in the blood, it is best first to consult a doctor and after to start taking Tylenol.
Light side effects associated with a decrease in platelets or other blood constituents are difficult to self-detect. Typically, blood test is performed to detect thrombocytopenia. However, if there is bleeding gums and nosebleeds, as well as prolonged bleeding from cuts or wounds, this can be a sign of thrombocytopenia.
A term agranulocytosis is used when level of white blood cells decreases. These cells perform several functions the most important of which is protection of the body from infectious diseases.
Ordinarily, Tylenol is used as a short-term pain treatment. Therefore, even if this analgesic affects the blood composition, these changes are insignificant. After termination of using Tylenol, the blood composition quickly normalizes.
Besides agranulocytosis and thrombocytopenia, there is another adverse reaction that is often mentioned about – hepatic failure. Damage to the liver is difficult and long to treat. Therefore, people taking Tylenol should be warned about this adverse reaction.
Liver side effects may occur in the following situations:
- use of a dose more than 4000 mg per day
- combined use with other analgesics containing Acetaminophen
- use of this analgesic in combination with alcohol
Despite a good safety profile, Tylenol cannot be used in patients with liver damage or in those who constantly consume alcoholic beverages. When using this this analgesic, consumption of alcoholic beverages should be completely stopped.
In addition to those mentioned above, a list of Tylenol side effects includes allergic reactions and bronchospasms. Such reactions are rare, but can be nuisance and affect your everyday activities.
Most of the allergic reactions of Tylenol are mild or moderate (e.g., sneezing, redness of the eyes, or runny nose). Sometimes severe allergic reactions occur that are called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
Bronchospasm is a state of acute respiratory failure caused by narrowing of muscles in the walls of the bronchioles. Bronchospasms usually occur in asthmatics using Tylenol.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are not included in the list of common Tylenol side effects. Stomach problems often occur when using other pain medications, such as NSAIDs. Therefore, Tylenol is recommended for people with digestive system diseases.
In order to minimize the risk of adverse reactions during pain treatment, the minimum effective doses of Tylenol should be used. The daily intake for adults should not exceed 4000 mg of Tylenol per day.
Children should take lower doses of Tylenol comparing to adults. The total dose for children depends on age and body weight. Children should not take Tylenol for more than 3 days without consulting a doctor.
The total daily dose should be divided into 3-4 doses at approximately the same intervals. If to take the maximum daily dose of Tylenol at a time, overdose may occur.
In case of overdose, it is necessary immediately consult a doctor, even if the patient is feeling well. Acute overdose of Tylenol may cause liver damage and other adverse reactions.
If side effects still arise and cause discomfort while using Tylenol, do not worry too much. Decrease in the daily dose and / or increase of the interval between doses intake makes it easy to control adverse reactions of this analgesic.
Benefits of using Tylenol for pain treatment should be compared with risks of adverse reactions. If undesired effects are mild and do not cause discomfort, it is not necessary to reduce the daily dose of Tylenol.
A correct approach to sciatica pain relief facilitates rapid relief and recovery of mobility. Sciatica is a neuralgia of the sciatic nerve, characterized by pain in the buttock and leg, tingling, burning and numbness of the hamstring. At that, sciatica is a pain symptom, and not an independent disease.
The most common cause of sciatica is an injury or trauma to the sacral spine. People, who suffer from sciatica, begin to limp, thus avoiding the transfer of their body weight to the aching leg. As a result, the load on the damaged intervertebral disc is distributed unevenly, which leads to its further destruction.
The nerve roots in the lumbar region form the sciatic nerve. Characteristic signs of sciatica are:
- numbness of limbs
- muscle spasms, muscle twitching
- impaired control of the function of the bladder or intestine
- partial or total loss of sensitivity on the foot and shin
- pulling, piercing pain in the lumbar region, buttock, hamstring, shin and foot
When the nerve is compressed, the pain extends into the buttocks area, under the knee, sometimes in the calf or the heel. Symptoms of sensitivity loss in the legs are very persistent, and numbness can persist for a long time. If sciatica is not treated for, this increases the risk of pathologies in intervertebral discs and nearby internal organs.
The problem of sciatica pain relief is complicated by the fact that nerve entrapment can be located in different places separately or in several places at the same time. The first place in which the compression of the sciatic nerve can be formed is the ending of the spinal cord. Nerve roots that come off its bottom give rise to the lumbosacral plexus and the sciatic nerve itself.
The second place, in which people can have the compression of the nerve roots, involved in the formation of the sciatic nerve, is the lumbar region, on the sides of the spine. Nerve endings can be squeezed by the muscles and edges of the vertebrae. And the third place is the pelvic area, where separate roots and/or the sciatic nerve itself can be compressed by the muscles of the buttocks.
Methods of sciatica pain relief are:
- therapeutic gymnastics
- physical and psychological relaxation
- correction of habitual incorrect movement patterns
- physiotherapy (including computerized reflexotherapy and cryotherapy)
Therapeutic gymnastics and physical activity are the first-line therapy for sciatica. The intensity of physical exercises is determined by the attending physician individually for each patient.
To ease the pain, people need to perform various exercises: mild, without sharp movements, tilt forward, backward, to the sides, so that the muscles of the lumbosacral section actively contract and stretch. Muscle activity improves blood circulation and gradually relieves pain.
To support the tone of the leg muscles, patient should make several squats daily. If a patient finds it difficult to balance, he can hold on to the back of the chair while making squats. Several slow squats per day are especially effective for sciatica pain relief during pregnancy.
For pharmacotherapy of sciatica, the drugs of choice are:
- muscle relaxants
- opioid analgesics
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
If oral analgesics are ineffective in sciatica pain relief, the attending physician uses Novocain injections. Injections are made as close to the sciatic nerve as possible by the method of lumbar puncture, which allows to locally influence the inflamed nerve and achieve a rapid and strong analgesic effect.
One of the most advanced and modern methods of sciatica treatment is cryotherapy. The method consists in alternating exposure to heat and cold on the lumbosacral region. In outpatient practice, cryo chambers are used. However, patient can independently achieve sciatica pain relief at home.
For cryotherapy at home, people use plastic bags with basic salt solution. After freezing in a refrigerating chamber, patient should apply the bag to his low back and perform light slow rotational movements. The skin turns pale at first, and then starts to redden quickly.
Exposure to cold should be discontinued with intense skin reddening. Patient must put aside the package with ice, warm the reddened area and wait until the skin regains its natural color. The rest time is selected individually – 2 to 15 minutes. Then, the procedure can be repeated, again until the skin turns red. Two repetitions are sufficient for one cryotherapy session.
In addition to the use of analgesics, cryotherapy and physical activity, the auxiliaries for sciatica pain relief treatment can be:
- special orthopedic pillows
- creams and ointments for topical application
- devices for computer reflexotherapy and percutaneous electrical neural stimulation (PENS)
Errors that patients make in sciatica pain relief treatment:
- Take analgesics for more than 3-4 days. There is no need to take painkillers for prevention or when the pain symptoms begin to decrease.
- They try not to move at all. Full immobility is necessary only when the pain is unbearable. However, if the pain symptoms are periodic, then moderate physical exertion is required to alleviate them.
- Independently perform exercises that they think can promote sciatica pain relief. Since many patients are not aware of all the features of the location of the muscles and ligaments relative to each other, they perform wrong exercises that can aggravate the pain symptoms.
Minimum of unpleasant sensations and a fast analgesic effect are the two main criteria for choosing pain relievers. The main tasks of all painkillers are easing the pain and changing the emotional state from negative to neutral.
Safe and effective pain relievers should have the following characteristics:
- fast start action onset;
- low systemic toxicity and minimal risk of side effects;
- adequate duration of pain relief, which should be at least 4 hours.
Analgesic effect is achieved by selecting pain relievers individually for each patient. There is no single dose or drug, which would be multi-purpose and would alleviate physical and emotional discomfort for all patients. In addition, for a variety of reasons (progression of the underlying disease, development of tolerance, etc.), previously used drugs may become ineffective for pain alleviation in repeated use.
As a rule, there are three dosage forms of pain relievers:
- topical products
All drugs for facilitating physical and emotional sufferings should be used in the simplest, most effective and least painful way. Therefore, to ease the painful and unpleasant sensations, many patients prefer to use tablets because of the convenience and ease of their use.
Tablets for pain relief can be either of immediate or of sustained release of the drug substance. Pain relievers with an immediate release are used to relieve episodic and breakthrough pain (BTP).
Extended release tablets are used to alleviate chronic pain and provide a longer analgesic effect, than that of conventional tablets. Thus, using prolonged release tablets, patient can reduce the frequency of medication.
The main disadvantages of oral pain relievers are:
- insufficiently rapid onset of the analgesic effect, compared to injectable preparations;
- most of the drug substance is inactivated upon first passage through the liver;
- impossibility to select the dosage necessary for adequate analgesic therapy with absolute accuracy.
Injectable pain relievers are first line drugs to alleviate physical and emotional suffering in outpatient practice. Parenteral administration of pain medication is necessary for fragile patients, who are unable to swallow tablets.
Injectable pain relievers should also be used by patients, who:
- suffer from a gastrointestinal tract dysfunction
- require very rapid onset of the analgesic effect
- are incapable of using or tolerating the action of oral analgesics
The main advantage of injectable analgesics vs oral analgesics is the speed of action, since the drug substance is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and immediately enters the blood stream.
In outpatient practice, injectable drugs can serve not only for analgesia (loss of pain sensation), but also for anesthesia (loss of pain sensation, as well as motor activity and consciousness). Clinical efficacy of injectable pain relievers is determined by such indicators, as:
- duration of anesthesia for therapeutic purposes;
- active profile, that is, the duration of complete and incomplete anesthesia;
- the onset of action, that is, the time to achieve an analgesic effect after injection;
- the total duration of anesthesia, that is, until the sensitivity returns completely.
Of the parenteral ways of pain relievers administration, the subcutaneous way is the main one, while the intravenous way is used in need to quickly alleviate emotional and physical suffering. Intramuscular administration of drugs is only used for strict medical indications and mainly to alleviate severe pain.
Pain relievers of topical application can be ointments, creams, sprays and patches. Local analgesics should be used for symptomatic treatment of sore throat, as well as painful and unpleasant sensations, caused by injuries, bruises and sprains.
The effectiveness of the analgesic effect of topical drugs is the direct impact on the source of pain and inflammation. Other advantages of pain relievers for topical application vs oral and injectable medications:
- no adverse effects on the liver and gastrointestinal tract;
- decrease in the risk of side effects due to low systemic bioavailability of the drug;
- ease of use, the possibility of using at home, the lack of the need for outpatient treatment.
The drawbacks of pain relievers for topical application that should be noted are inefficiency against chronic pain, the inability to achieve an immediate analgesic effect and an increased risk of allergic reactions on the skin.
By its effect on the body, all pain relievers are divided into two large groups: narcotic and non-narcotic. The former have a pronounced stimulating effect on the brain and the central nervous system. Non-narcotic drugs suppress the activity of pain mediators.
The action mechanism of opioid pain relievers lies in:
- violation of the subthreshold pain impulses functioning
- change in emotional perception of painful and unpleasant sensations
- blocking the interneuronal transmission of pain impulses to the cerebral cortex
Narcotic analgesics can be agonists or antagonists of opiate receptors, which are responsible for the severity and degree of pain intensity. The therapeutic effect of opioid pain relievers is combined with the impact over patient’s emotions and psychological condition. The main advantages of narcotic drugs are the fast and long-term elimination of symptoms of acute and chronic pain.
Non-narcotic analgesics, posses anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects in addition to the analgesic effect. The action mechanism of non-narcotic pain relievers lies in:
- blockage in the development of pain mediators in the peripheral nervous system
- inhibition of painful impulses transmission along the peripheral nerves and into the deeper parts of the brain
Unlike opioid analgesics, which can be addictive, non-narcotic drugs do not contribute to drug dependence.
Pain pills (analgesics) are in the greatest demand among Americans. These drugs selectively suppress soreness, increase the tolerance to pain and reduce the emotional reactions to pain.
Most of the pain pills have an over-the-counter (OTC) status and are available in freely sale online and in retail pharmacies of the country. As public polls show, Americans prefer to order pain pills online. This allows them to quickly arrest the pain syndrome and improve their health general physical and mental health.
It is convenient and profitable to buy pain pills via online pharmacy. Long-lasting pain syndrome exhausts people physically. Often, he does not even have the strength to go to the nearest pharmacy to get an anesthetic.
When there is no time or opportunity to go to the pharmacy on your own, and the pain does not pass, people buy pain pills through the Internet without leaving their home. You can buy the right drug at any time, as online pharmacies work around the clock.
In some pharmacies, you can choose the same-day delivery service, and then pain pills will be delivered to the buyer within the shortest possible time. This makes it possible to quickly start treating pain and improve the quality of life.
Many buyers prefer to buy pain pills online because this helps them save their money, as well. As a rule, prices for painkillers in online pharmacies are lower, than those in retail pharmacies.
Affordable prices for pain pills in online pharmacies are explained by the fact that the basis for pricing is a minimum mark-up on drugs. In contrast to retail pharmacies, the cost of maintaining and servicing an online pharmacy is lower.
There is no need to hire a large staff, pay for renting a facility, for electricity. Therefore, the cost of pain pills in online pharmacies for most Americans is more attractive and acceptable.
In fact, there is a large number of drugs that possess analgesic effect. The analgesic effect can be provided not only by pain pills, but also by drugs of different pharmacological groups.
Currently, there are several classifications of pain pills. Traditionally, analgesics are classified into:
- Non-opioid analgesics;
- Opioid analgesics.
Non-opioid analgesics are the most popular pain reliever pills, which can be purchased online without a prescription. The popularity of these pain pills is explained by the fact that they:
- Are not addictive;
- Have fewer side effects;
- Effectively relieve chronic pain of mild and moderate intensity.
Non-opioid analgesics include pain pills, the analgesic effect of which is not related to the opioid system.
In the USA, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most common pain pills with analgesic activity. In particular, aniline derivatives (Acetaminophen), salicylic acid derivatives (Aspirin), carboxylic acid derivatives (Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Naproxen).
The analgesic effect of the NSAIDs is due to the inhibition of the prostanoids synthesis. At that, drugs of this class influence the synthesis of prostaglandins in the neurons of the spinal cord and in the structures of the central nervous system that are involved in the transmission of pain impulses.
Non-opioid analgesics can be purchased in the form of oral capsules and tablets. Since the use of non-narcotic analgesic does not significantly affect the central nervous system, these pain pills are available online and in supermarkets.
In addition to the analgesic effect, non-opioid analgesics can exert provide and antipyretic effects. These pain pills are used for neuralgia, acute articular rheumatism, arthritis, and colds.
NSAIDs are well tolerated, yet a prolonged use of these pain pills can cause damage to the gastric mucosa, which manifests itself as gastropathy.
To reduce the risk of side effects, the manufacturers started producing the tablet forms of these painkillers in a special shell, which dissolves in the intestine, and not in the stomach. Administration of pain pills after a meal can help reduce the irritation of the gastric mucosa.
It should be borne in mind that the analgesic effect of non-opioid analgesics manifests itself in neuralgic, dental, headache, joint, muscle pain. These pain reliever pills are poorly effective in trauma, pain associated with diseases of the internal organs.
To treat acute and chronic non-onocological pain of various origins, as well as to arrest pain syndrome, oncological patients are prescribed opioid analgesics.
Most often, opioid analgesics are offered in the form of oral tablets and capsules. Typically, these pain reliever pills can be purchased online or in conventional pharmacies by prescription.
The action mechanism of these analgesics is well understood and since their effect is related to the impact over the central nervous system, opioids are among the controlled drugs.
Being strongest pain relief medicines, analgesics selectively suppress pain sensitivity, and do not violate consciousness. The use of pain pills increases the threshold of pain sensitivity and reduces the perception of pain.
Moreover, narcotic analgesics can suppress patient’s fear and expectation of pain. The most famous narcotic painkillers are Pentazocine, Codeine, Buprenorphine, Tramadol, Prosidol, and Morphine.
Pain reliever pills from this group possess:
- high analgesic activity;
- addictive properties, that is, they can cause a dependence;
- the ability to effectively cope with acute pains of any localization;
Due to the ability to cause mental and physical dependence, the sale of these pain pills without a prescription is prohibited for retail and online pharmacies. The side effects of opioids are approximately the same. The effect on the central nervous system manifests through sedation, euphoria.
Pain reliever pills can cause constipation, since the secretory activity of the intestinal mucosa decreases in patients, who take these analgesics. Therefore, patients on opioids should also be prescribed laxatives.
Today, analgesics are among the most affordable drugs. Many Americans order pain pills online. However, before you buy a painkiller, it is recommended to find out the exact indications for its use or consult a pharmacist.
Effectiveness of analgesic therapy for acute and chronic diseases, surgical interventions, as well as injuries depends on choice and use of one or another pain medication. Therapy, aimed at alleviating physical and emotional suffering, should begin as soon as possible – at the first signs of pain occurrence.
Regardless of causes of pain occurrence, there are no adequate methods of examination confirming this diagnosis. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s description of pain characteristics and accompanying symptoms, herewith absence of any deviations during medical examination is mandatory.
During medical examination, the patient should describe pain symptoms as detailed as possible. It is very important to inform the doctor how often and in what doses the patient uses analgesics and whether he observes all recommendations for use.
Choice of pain medication is determined in accordance with such pain characteristics as:
- intensity and type
- the patient’s individual characteristics
There is no pain medication, universal for all patients. However, based on medical indications, the attending physician will be able to prescribe a medicine that is effective for analgesic therapy of the particular patient.
All painkillers are divided into three large groups:
- non-narcotic (non-opioid)
- narcotic (opioid)
Non-opioid analgesics include drugs of such pharmacological groups as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Pyrazolone derivatives and others. All non-narcotic drugs do not differ by prolonged anesthetic effect and are not capable to relieve severe pain, but can weaken it and reduce a need for opioids.
Analgesic effect of non-narcotic analgesics is manifested in neuralgic, muscular, articular, dental and headache. However, to alleviate emotional distress during injuries, burns and pain associated with diseases of the internal organs, none of the non-narcotic pain medications will be effective.
Advantages of non-narcotic drugs comparing to opioids:
- do not depress breathing
- do not cause drug dependence
- both adults and children can use
Opioid analgesics are the drugs of choice for alleviating pain symptoms of moderate and high intensity in different fields of medicine. By degree of anesthetic effect, they are significantly superior to all non-narcotic drugs. Opioid drugs have central mechanism of action, realized by interaction with opioid receptors of different brain parts and central nervous system.
The most common opioid pain medication is Codeine. It has several dosage forms (tablets, syrup, injections) and it is widely used in clinical practice. Compliance with the rules for clinical use of all opioid drugs is a prerequisite for preventing risk of possible complications.
The main disadvantage of opioid drugs is a risk of drug dependence. Tolerance is caused by the person’s addiction to the applied dose of an opioid and decrease in analgesic effect during prolonged therapy. Due to the increased risk of dependence, there is a special system for monitoring the use of opioids to prevent possible abuse in many countries.
Combined pain medications are created on the basis of Paracetamol in combination with small narcologically safe doses of opioid analgesics – Codeine, Tramadol and others. Combination drugs surpass Paracetamol in its pure form by their analgesic effect and do not belong to narcotic drugs.
Thanks to several active ingredients, combined analgesics have such effects as:
- spasmolytic (eliminate spasm of smooth muscles and improve blood circulation)
For chronic pain treatment, there are several principles for taking medications. One of them is sequence of application, that is, from weaker drugs to stronger ones. This principle is called a stepwise approach to the use of analgesics.
Depending on the pain severity, systemic analgesic therapy is divided into three stages:
- Non-opioid drugs should be used in patients with mild pain.
- Low doses of opiates should be used in patients with mild to moderate pain, as well as in those who did not achieve the maximal anesthetic effect with non-opioid drugs.
- Therapeutic doses of opiates should be used in patients with severe pain syndrome or in those who are unable to achieve adequate analgesia while using anesthesia scheme of stage 2.
At all stages of alleviating physical and emotional suffering, adjuvant therapy should be used together with analgesics. These are additional methods of treating pain symptoms aimed at increasing effectiveness of pain medication. Adjuvant drugs to reduce pain symptoms can be anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and other drugs.
If opioid pain medication is used along with non-narcotic drugs and adjuvant therapy, effectiveness of analgesic therapy will significantly increase. An integrated approach to alleviating physical and emotional suffering significantly reduces risk of side effects and complications that can be caused by narcotic drugs.
Many patients, who need pain medication, do not receive adequate pain therapy. This is largely due to an erroneous medical diagnosis or incorrect evaluation of pain severity by the treating physician. The most important condition for alleviating emotional distress is prescription of a drug for regular use, rather than by the patient’s need (i.e., ahead of pain resumption).
Non-pharmacological methods of relieving physical and emotional suffering (relaxing massages, physiotherapy, and moderate physical activity) are very helpful when used along with pain medication.