Drugs Q & A

How Often Can I Take Tylenol?

Tylenol also known as acetaminophen is a medication that relieves mild-to-moderate pain, headache and fever. You can use acetaminophen to relieve mild or moderate pain. This is usually pain from colds, sore throats, headaches, body or muscle aches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, or toothaches. You can also use it to reduce fever.

It’s not fully known how acetaminophen works. It doesn’t reduce swelling or inflammation. Instead, it’s thought that it blocks the release of certain chemicals in your brain that signal the sensation of pain.

How Often Can I Take Tylenol?

Take only one product that contains acetaminophen at a time. Acetaminophen is in many products and you could accidentally take too much if you’re using more than one product at the same time. Acetaminophen can be used by all age groups in recommended doses.

Children (general): The dose of acetaminophen for children is based on body size. Usually, it is calculated as 10 mg to 15 mg per kilogram of body weight, every 4 to 6 hours. No more than 65 mg/kg should be given in a 24-hour period. Children should not take more than 5 doses in 24 hours unless advised by a doctor. For children under 6 months of age, consult a doctor.

Children’s liquid medications should be given using a calibrated dosing device, such as an oral syringe. This ensures that you are giving your child the right amount. Some formulations of liquid acetaminophen contain different concentrations of acetaminophen. Pay careful attention to the concentration on the label and the calculated dose volume.

Adults: The dose of acetaminophen for adults is 325 mg to 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Do not take more than 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period. If you are taking the extended-release caplets, the recommended dose for adults and children over 12 years is 1300 mg taken every 8 hours.

Acetaminophen products available without a prescription should not be used for longer than 5 days in a row for pain or 3 days in a row for fever. If you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks in a day, do not take acetaminophen products, as your risk of liver damage is increased.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without talking to your doctor. Always take acetaminophen exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

This medication is generally used as needed for pain or fever, except in the case of osteoarthritis and some other chronic conditions, when it is often taken on a regular basis in order to keep pain under control. In these circumstances, if you miss a dose of this medicine and you remember within an hour or so of the missed dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you do not remember until it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

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