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Alcohol and Tylenol or other pain relievers Don’t Mix Student Health and Wellness Services

You may contact customer care anytime with questions or concerns, to cancel your registration, or to obtain further information. This program is administered by Medical Security Card Company, LLC, Tucson, AZ. Talk to your pharmacist today if you are looking for other pain medication with less side effects. Individuals with an established alcohol abuse history should not take acetaminophen at all. You can probably guess by now that the answer is generally no, you shouldn’t mix alcohol and acetaminophen. Similar to acetaminophen, it can only process alcohol in small quantities.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. Talk to your doctor before using acetaminophen if you’re not sure if you drink too frequently to use this drug. In general, if you’re going to drink at a party or other social event and you take a couple of doses of acetaminophen the next day for your headache , you should be fine. Consuming alcohol with lithium, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder, can have dangerous side effects.

How long after I drink alcohol can I take Tylenol?

It may take your liver a while to recover even after alcohol is fully removed from your body, so it is safest to wait at least 72 hours after drinking to take Tylenol.

Your body converts a very small byproduct of metabolized acetaminophen into a toxic substance that can be harmful to your liver. Luckily, a secondary substance called glutathione helps minimize the toxic effects. Acetaminophen overdose can cause acute liver damage, failure, and death in the most severe cases. However, most negative side effects occur due to excessive consumption of both.

Side effects

Acetaminophen alone can cause toxic damage to the liver, which is called acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. This toxicity is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol harmful use of alcohol or Tylenol, is a drug people use to treat mild-to-moderate pain and fever. Nearly half of the people who combined the two, however, reported health problems related to their kidneys, the researchers said.

tylenol and alcohol

If you binge drink or frequently drink a lot of alcohol, you’re also at increased risk of liver damage. It’s important to be honest with your doctor about the amount of alcohol you drink. They won’t judge you, and they need to know the truth so that they can make the best recommendation for your health. A. As a spokesperson for McNeil Consumer Health Care , you should recognize that heavy drinkers are at increased risk of liver damage when they take acetaminophen.

Health Risks of Mixing Tylenol and Alcohol

However, because of the potential for long-term consequences, it is still prudent to avoid mixing painkillers with alcohol, Drs. You’ve heard the saying about “don’t drink and drive.” We think it also applies to many pain relievers. If you are going to have a few alcoholic beverages, we think it would be a good idea to avoid pain relievers or headache remedies. While alcohol and Tylenol can both cause liver damage on their own, the effects can multiply when both substances are used together.

Alcoholic beverages increase the chance of liver toxicity from acetaminophen, or will worsen the liver damage that acetaminophen can cause. While this won’t happen on one occasion, over time, chronic alcohol intake depletes the liver from its enzymes and increases your risk of cirrhosis of the liver or liver failure. If you are drinking two or fewer drinks per day as a man or one or fewer per day as a woman, then you should be able to take Tylenol whenever you normally would.

Tylenol and alcohol a bad mix, study suggests

Drinking in moderation and using acetaminophen as directed can help minimize your risks. However, dismissing these precautions can have severe effects on your liver. Read on to learn how acetaminophen and alcohol work on your liver, how to stay safe, and what may indicate a more serious problem. Taking NSAIDs along with alcohol is typically safe, although side effects can include an upset stomach.

  • This can take 12 to 24 hours, depending on how much alcohol was used.
  • This is rare in healthy individuals who follow acetaminophen dosage instructions.
  • I stuck with it for 10 weeks but got no results, so I saw an orthopedic surgeon.
  • There are risks and dangers to drinking alcohol alongside Adderall.

The same is true for people who combine alcohol and Tylenol but have underlying health issues. The reason most medical experts recommendavoiding Tylenolwhile drinking alcohol is that both of these substances impact your liver. Alcohol is processed in the liver and puts additional stress on it while being metabolized. Tylenol also is processed in the liver and is very toxic to it in higher doses. While Tylenol can help bring a fever down, it is more commonly used to treat pain. Tylenol is best for treating light to moderate pain and can be purchased without a prescription.


Learn if you can take them together and how to use them safely. Excessive consumption of either, or both, can cause potentially severe, and even fatal, side effects. Firstly, the body processes around 90% of the drug via a process called glucuronidation. “People buy acetaminophen over the counter, and they also are casual alcohol users, and they don’t know that there is a harmful interaction.” Toxicologists consider it an antidote to acetaminophen overdose.

Furthermore, if you are already at risk for kidney problems , drinking alcohol while taking ibuprofen is even more precarious. If a person does not use alcohol every day and then takes a normal dose of Tylenol with one or two drinks, they will be less likely to experience harmful effects. This is not to say that it is safe — there can still be harmful effects, even when used in this more limited situation.

tylenol and alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can aggravate the stomach irritation caused by aspirin. The risk of aspirin-related ulcers is increased by alcohol. People sometimes find it difficult to cut back or control their drinking, making it harder to avoid mixing alcohol samhsas national helpline and medications. If you are struggling to reduce your alcohol use or stop drinking altogether, you may need to consider seeking professional help to reach your goals. Taking Tylenol for a hangover may seem like it would help, but it is not safe.

Why a ‘Dry January’ Is Good for Your Health

Damage to your liver can reduce its ability to perform these functions. It can also lead to increased pressure in your brain or abnormal bleeding and swelling. As long as you take acetaminophen as directed, you can drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking in moderation means having no more than three drinks per day.

Can I drink after taking a Tylenol?

Drinking alcohol in moderation while taking acetaminophen should generally be safe as long as a person takes acetaminophen as advised and does not exceed the recommended dose. Excessive consumption of either, or both, can cause potentially severe, and even fatal, side effects.

The short-term pain relief that Tylenol could provide is not worth the potential long-term liver damage that can occur. Some people are at higher risk of liver damage than others. For example, binge drinkers or heavy drinkers should avoid Tylenol. People with pre-existing liver these 5 things happen to your brain when you quit drinking damage should not use or combine these substances either. Combining acetaminophen and alcohol is generally considered to be something that should be avoided when possible. However, most experts consider it relatively safe to take Tylenol while drinking in moderation.

People who are underweight, are older or have underlying kidney or liver problems may be at a greater risk of developing long-term problems in these situations. The risks of mixing Tylenol and alcohol are higher when larger doses of either substance are used. You should always use Tylenol how the label says to use it or as instructed by your doctor. Even Tylenol by itself can lead to irreparable liver damage when used in large doses. Serious side effects can occur when you mix alcohol and Tylenol.

Several over-the-counter and prescription products contain acetaminophen. It’s easy to take more than the recommended amount of acetaminophen if you take more than one medication that contains it. If you’re not sure if a drug you take contains acetaminophen, ask your pharmacist or doctor. Don’t take acetaminophen for longer than 10 days in a row for pain, or three days in a row for fever, unless recommended by your doctor.