how long does it take for tylenol to work

How Long Does it Take For Tylenol to Work: A Detailed Guide

in Health Care by

Tylenol, one of the most commonest OTC (Over the Counter) drugs available in the market, is an irreplaceable part of the day to day lives of many of us for tackling sudden chills and fevers on the go. This article is focused mainly on what Tylenol is and how long does it take for Tylenol to work in the body. So let’s start without delay.

What is Tylenol?

Tylenol is basically Acetaminophen, produced by McNeil Consumer and marketed under the name ‘Tylenol’. It is one of the most popular Over The Counter(OTC) drugs, acting as an analgesic and antipyretic at the same time. It is not an NSAID(Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ) and due to its mild side effects and rapid action against mild to moderate pain, it has gained immense popularity across the globe. It is found in a variety of forms such as Tablets, Capsules, Liquids, Gels etc. It is found in both adult and children doses.

Ingredients present in Tylenol 

The ingredients that are present in Tylenol are mainly :

  1. Active Ingredient:- Acetaminophen (500 mg generally)
  2. Other Ingredients:- 
  • Powdered Cellulose
  • Sodium Starch Glycolate
  • Pregelatinized Starch
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Purified Water
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Magnesium Stearate

Physical and Chemical Properties of Tylenol

Tylenol mainly constitutes Acetaminophen, having molecular formula C8H9NO2, and having a molar mass of about 151.163 g/mol. It’s melting point is about 169°C and it is soluble in water and alcohol.

Directions for use

Adults and children over the age of 12, can take two tablets, capsules or caps for the liquid version, with water. Taking the drug with any other beverage is not generally recommended. When taken with alcohol, it may cause serious liver damage. The safe amount of drug taken within 24 hrs is 6 pills which add up to 3000 mg of the drug. Prolonged use of extra strong Tylenol for more than 10 days is restricted.

Main uses of Tylenol 

Tylenol is mainly used to tackle mild to moderate pain in the body such as headache, toothache, body pain, joint pain, muscle pain etc. It is also an antipyretic drug, which means it lowers fever. It has lesser side effects than other NSAIDs(Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Ibuprofen, and its rapid action has helped it become highly popular across the world. Any non-viral chills and colds can be completely cured by Tylenol.

How long does it take for Tylenol to Work in the Body

How long does it take for Tylenol to Work in the Body?

Tylenol is mainly composed of Acetaminophen, which is absorbed quite rapidly from the gut wall and reaches the systemic circulation. Peak concentrations of the drug in plasma is reached by 2 hours approximately. The metabolism of the drug mainly takes place by glucuronidation and sulfation, and by 24 hrs the drug is almost totally excreted by the body.

 Adult Tylenol and Infant Tylenol have different pharmacokinetics in the body, thus taking different amounts of time to act:-

  • Adult Tylenol:– It takes almost 45 minutes to start working fully inside the body in case of oral, liquid and tablet Tylenol. Tablets which disintegrate orally and are absorbed sublingually, start working in 20 minutes. The rectal suppositories take a bit longer, 2 hours almost. The peak action of the drug is seen between 2 and 4 hrs.
  • Infant Tylenol:– It takes about 30-60 minutes, for infant Tylenol to start working in children. It reaches peak action in about 1-2 hours and is excreted more rapidly than in adults. If there is no change in body temperature or symptoms in babies within 24 hrs, then a pediatrician must be consulted.

The side effects of Tylenol

The side effects of Tylenol are way less than those of other NSAIDs, and moreover, it’s ill effects on stomach are also lesser. They are safer drugs to use, thus available over-the-counter. Ill effects are only seen on prolonged usage and when more than 8 pills (4000mg) are taken within 24 hrs. The side effects are:-

  • Dizziness
  • Liver Toxicity
  • Liver Damage on use with alcohol
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness
  • Stomach pain occasionally
  • Clay colored urine
  • Dark stools

Final words            

Tylenol is no wonder a marvel of modern pharmacology, saving us from day to day headaches and fevers. The article clearly explains how long does it take for Tylenol to work in the body. It is a relatively safe drug and side effects are seen only on prolonged use and overdoses within 24hrs. Proper care should be taken while administering this drug to children, and extra strength Tylenol should never be used.

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