Can Tylenol Make You Sleepy

Can Tylenol Make You Sleepy
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Many readers are interested in the following topic: Types of Tylenol: How to Choose, Dosage, Safety. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Tylenol – Uses, Side Effects, and More

This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain (from headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, or cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.

Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. People with liver problems and children should take less acetaminophen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much acetaminophen is safe to take.

Do not use with any other drug containing acetaminophen without asking your doctor or pharmacist first. Acetaminophen is in many nonprescription and prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Check the labels on all your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen, and ask your pharmacist if you are unsure.

Get medical help right away if you take too much acetaminophen (overdose), even if you feel well. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine.

Daily alcohol use, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may damage your liver. Avoid alcohol.

How to use Tylenol

Take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

There are many brands and forms of acetaminophen available. Read the dosing instructions carefully for each product because the amount of acetaminophen may be different between products. Do not take more acetaminophen than recommended. (See also Warning section.)

If you are giving acetaminophen to a child, be sure you use a product that is meant for children. Use your child’s weight to find the right dose on the product package. If you don’t know your child’s weight, you can use their age.

For suspensions, shake the medication well before each dose. Some liquids do not need to be shaken before use. Follow all directions on the product package. Measure the liquid medication with the provided dose-measuring spoon/dropper/syringe to make sure you have the correct dose. Do not use a household spoon.

For rapidly-dissolving tablets, chew or allow to dissolve on the tongue, then swallow with or without water. For chewable tablets, chew thoroughly before swallowing.

Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Swallow the tablets whole.

For effervescent tablets, dissolve the dose in the recommended amount of water, then drink.

Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the symptoms have worsened, the medication may not work as well.

Do not take this medication for fever for more than 3 days unless directed by your doctor. For adults, do not take this product for pain for more than 10 days (5 days in children) unless directed by your doctor. If the child has a sore throat (especially with high fever, headache, or nausea/vomiting), consult the doctor promptly.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse or if you develop new symptoms. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

This drug usually has no side effects. If you have any unusual effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


See also Warning section.

Before taking acetaminophen, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, regular use/abuse of alcohol.

Liquid products, chewable tablets, or dissolving/effervescent tablets and powders may contain sugar or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. If you have any of these conditions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about using these products safely.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

Acetaminophen passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Consult your pharmacist or physician.


See also Warning section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are: ketoconazole, levoketoconazole.

This medication may interfere with certain lab tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Types of Tylenol: How to Choose, Dosage, Safety

There are many types of over-the-counter (OTC) Tylenol—the popular brand name version of the generic drug acetaminophen. Depending on the symptoms you have, you may choose one formulation or strength of Tylenol over another.

This article reviews the different Tylenol products, and how they are alike and different. You will learn which type of Tylenol can be used for relief from arthritis pain, a headache, sinus discomfort, menstrual cramps, and other symptoms.

Which Tylenol is Right for You?

Types of Tylenol

The active ingredient in all OTC Tylenol products is acetaminophen, which works primarily to relieve pain and fight fevers.

The main difference between the types of Tylenol is the amount of acetaminophen in each one. For example, stronger formulations are meant to relieve more intense types of pain.

Tylenol also comes in different forms—for example, there are liquids, dissolvable powders, chewable tablets, caplets, and capsules.

Regular Strength Tylenol

The original Tylenol, Regular Strength Tylenol, contains 325 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen per tablet/capsule.

Adults and children 12 years and over can take two tablets/capsules every four to six hours as needed, but no more than 10 tablets/capsules in 24 hours.

Extra-Strength Tylenol

Extra-Strength Tylenol contains 500 mg acetaminophen per tablet/capsule. Adults and kids 12 and over can safely take two tablets/capsules every six hours as needed, but no more than eight tablets/capsules in 24 hours.

If you’re using Extra Strength Tylenol, don’t take it for more than 10 days in a row unless your healthcare provider says you should.

Tylenol 8-Hour Arthritis Pain

Tylenol 8-Hour Arthritis Pain contains 650 mg acetaminophen per caplet. Although it’s marketed for arthritis pain, it also can bring temporary relief for more general muscle aches, back pain, menstrual cramps, discomfort from a cold or flu, and toothache.

It has a double-layer design. The first layer provides fast relief and the second offers continuous all-day relief in an extended-release formula. Because the first layer is meant to dissolve quickly for immediate relief, this type of Tylenol should be swallowed whole with water.

Adults can take one to two caplets every eight hours, but no more than six caplets in 24 hours.

Tylenol 8-Hour Aches and Pains ER

Tylenol 8-Hour Aches and Pains Extended-Release is basically the same as the formulation for arthritis pain. This type of Tylenol contains 650 mg acetaminophen per caplet, has the same bi-layer design, and is formulated to relieve minor muscle aches and body pain fast and to last all day.

Tylenol products designed to help relieve cold symptoms or sinus discomfort contain another active ingredient called phenylephrine. This ingredient relieves congestion by shrinking blood vessels in the nasal passages.

Adults and children 12 years and over can take two caplets every eight hours, swallowed whole with water, and no more than six caplets in 24 hours.

Types of Tylenol for Infants and Children

There are specific Tylenol products for babies and kids. Many formulations treat symptoms similar to the products for adults, like colds and the flu.

However, these products come in smaller doses and are made to be easier for children to take.

Children’s Tylenol Liquid

Several liquid formulations of Tylenol are available for children ages 2 to 11. Like the adult versions, Children’s Tylenol comes in different formulations to treat specific symptoms.

For example, Children’s Tylenol Cold + Cough + Runny Nose has acetaminophen plus other ingredients in it that help with a cough.

The liquids also come in flavors like grape and cherry, which can make it a bit easier for children to take them.

There is also a liquid Children’s Tylenol that is made without dyes. It also does not contain parabens or high fructose corn syrup.

The medication comes with a special cup that caregivers can use to measure out the correct dose.

Children’s Tylenol Dissolve Powder Packs

Another version of Tylenol that kids ages 6 to 11 comes in the form of a powder. It can either be dissolved in water and made into a drink or allowed to dissolve on a child’s tongue.

Like the liquid Tylenol, the powder packs are fruit-flavored.

Children’s Tylenol Chewables

Chewable Children’s Tylenol comes in bubblegum and grape-flavored tablets. It can be given to kids ages 2 to 11.

The dose depends on a child’s weight and age. Some children will need to take more than one chewable.

Infants’ Tylenol Liquid

Infants’ Tylenol Liquid is made for children ages 2 to 3 years. Sometimes, children younger than age 2 might be able to take the medication with their pediatrician’s OK.

Like the liquid version for older kids, Infants’ Tylenol comes in grape and cherry flavors and can be given to help with cold symptoms, toothaches, and fevers. There is also a dye-free version.

The medication comes with a dropper to help caregivers measure the right dose.

Tylenol PM

Tylenol also makes products that are meant to be used at night. In addition to pain relief from acetaminophen, some of these products have ingredients in them to help you sleep.

  • Tylenol PM Extra Strength Liquidand Tylenol PM Extra Strength Pain Reliever caplets: These products contain acetaminophen and an antihistamine called diphenhydramine HCI that can make you feel sleepy.
  • Tylenol Simply Sleep caplets: This product only contains diphenhydramine HCI. It is intended to help you sleep, not relieve pain.

Other Types of Tylenol

Tylenol also makes many symptom and condition-specific products. For example, you can get Tylenol products for:

  • Headaches and muscle pain
  • Sinus pain
  • Cold and flu
  • Arthritis

Recommended Dosages

The reason it’s important to know how much acetaminophen is in each type of Tylenol and to follow the dosage directions carefully is that there’s a very real danger of severe liver damage from taking too much acetaminophen at one time. This seems straightforward, but it can be tricky.

There are non-Tylenol medications that contain acetaminophen, including prescription narcotic pain relievers and cold-and-flu remedies which include acetaminophen as an ingredient.

Adult Dosage

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adults should not take more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.

If you’re taking one of these products, do not take OTC Tylenol at the same time as it may put your daily dose over the maximum daily dose recommended by the FDA.

Child Dosage

The maximum per dose depends on the child’s weight but its not 90mg. The max daily dose is 75mg/kg/day and depends on route.

When you’re giving Tylenol to babies and kids, it’s important to remember that the dose depends on how old they are and how much they weigh. The Tylenol product and the form it comes in will also determine the correct dose.

Infants’ Tylenol Liquid (160 mg/5ml)

Infants’ Tylenol Liquid is meant for children ages 2 to 3 who weigh between 24 and 35 pounds. The dose is 5 ml.

Children’s Tylenol Liquid (160 mg/5ml)
Weight: 24-35 lbs 36-47 lbs 48-59 lbs 60-71 lbs 72-95 lbs
Age: 2-3 years 4-5 years 6-8 years 9-10 years 11 years
Dose: 5 ml 7.5 ml 10 ml 12.5 ml 15 ml
Children’s Tylenol Chewable tablet (160 mg/tablet)
Weight: 24-35 lbs 36-47 lbs 48-59 lbs 60-71 lbs 72-95 lbs
Age: 2-3 years 4-5 years 6-8 years 9-10 years 11 years
Dose: 1 tablet 1 and 1/2 tablets 2 tablets 2 and 1/2 tablets 3 tablets
Children’s Tylenol Dissolve Packs (160 mg/pack)
Weight: 48-59 lbs 60-71 lbs 72-95 lbs
Age: 6-8 years 9-10 years 11 years
Dose: 2 packets 2 packets 3 packets

Concerns and Considerations

Despite the FDA recommendations, it is important to understand that your weight may also play a part in your maximum daily dose of acetaminophen.

Research suggests that taking 4,000 mg for extended periods can seriously damage the liver, especially if you’re under 150 pounds. As such, it is best to limit your intake to the lowest effective dose and to stay closer to 3,000 mg per day as your maximum dose.

If you need to take higher doses for chronic pain, check with your healthcare provider first. Acetaminophen is contraindicated for use in people with severe liver impairment or severe liver disease.

Keep in mind that you also risk liver damage if you drink too much alcohol while taking a medication that contains acetaminophen. The FDA warns you shouldn’t have more than three or more drinks per day.

Current research suggests that the acetaminophen dose should be reduced to a maximum of 2,000 mg per day for heavy drinkers, people who are malnourished, and those who take chronic medications metabolized by the liver.  

There are over 600 different drugs metabolized by the liver, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider if you take chronic medications of any sort if you plan to use acetaminophen. These include prescription, over-the-counter, nutritional, homeopathic, and recreational drugs.

Using Tylenol During Pregnancy

Providers have long told pregnant people that it’s safe to take Tylenol for minor aches and cold symptoms. However, research has now shown it might not be safe to take Tylenol while you’re pregnant.

Experts now recommend that pregnant people avoid taking over-the-counter products that have acetaminophen in them because it might affect fetal development.

In certain cases, it might be OK for a pregnant person to take Tylenol if they have been told to by their provider.

Talk to your provider about the risks and benefits of taking Tylenol during pregnancy in your case.

If a pregnant person does need to take Tylenol, experts suggest taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time possible.


Tylenol is the brand name of a drug called acetaminophen. The medication can be bought over-the-counter and is good for relieving pain and helping lower a fever.

The Tylenol brand makes many types of products for different symptoms. There are also special Tylenol types for infants and children.

While Tylenol is generally a safe and effective way to treat pain and occasional minor illnesses like a cold, you should talk to your provider before taking it often or for a long time. Tylenol does have risks, including damaging your liver and may be unsafe to take when you’re pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are more than two dozen Tylenol products on the market. They differ in strength, formulation, intended use, and ages they are appropriate for.

The strongest forms of over-the-counter Tylenol are Tylenol 8-Hour Aches and Pain and 8-Hour Arthritis Pain. These products have 650 mg acetaminophen.

Generic medications work the same as the brand-name versions and usually have the same ingredients. You can get a generic product with acetaminophen that has the same amount in it as a Tylenol product.

You may be able to use aspirin, naproxen sodium, or ibuprofen, depending on your health history and symptoms. In some cases, one of these may even be better in your case. For example, Advil (ibuprofen) can reduce inflammation, while Tylenol cannot. Speak to your healthcare provider.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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By Carol Eustice
Carol Eustice is a writer covering arthritis and chronic illness, who herself has been diagnosed with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.