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.