Generic Names: Acetaminophen, Paracetamol
The active substance of Tylenol is acetaminophen
(N-acetyl-para-aminophenol, APAP). In Europe the medication is mainly
known as Paracetamol. It works by lowering a chemical in the brain that
stimulates pain nerves and the heat-regulating center in the brain.
in medicine in 1893, acetaminophen only gained widespread use after
1948, when scientists concluded that another popular drug, acetanilide,
was toxic and that the same therapeutic effect could be safely achieved
with acetaminophen, which was already known to be a metabolite of
Tylenol remains a top seller, controlling about 35% of the pain killer
market in North America.
Tylenol is generally considered to be a 'safe' medication, though
acetaminophen in large quantities may be toxic to the liver. Tylenol
tablets manufactured in the United States normally contain 300mg
acetaminophen each. As the common acetaminophen dose for adults and
children of 12 and over is 300 to 1000 mg every four to six hours
and the recommended maximum daily dose must not exceed 4 grams,
one should use caution combining Tylenol with other medications
containing acetaminophen (paracetamol) in order not to overdose.
For children aged 6-11 years, the usual dose is 150-300 mg,
three to four times a day. Doses for children under 6 years old
should be determined by a physician. Pregnant or breastfeeding
women should consult with a physician, too.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) should not be taken for more than 10 days
(five days in children) to relieve pain, or for more than three days
to reduce fever without a physician's recommendation.
Persons who have three or more alcoholic drinks a day should use
caution when taking acetaminophen, as the combined load of alcohol
and acetaminophen can be too heavy for the liver.
Also, the usage of Tylenol (acetaminophen) is restricted in
patients who have liver or kidney disease.
Your pharmacist has additional information about Tylenol
written for health professionals that you may read.