Can You Take Tylenol on an Empty Stomach?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on November 3rd, 2022

Can Tylenol be taken on an empty stomach? Some medications should be taken with meals, while others should be on an empty stomach. 

What about Tylenol, for example? 

In this post, I’ll explain whether or not you may take Tylenol on an empty stomach and give dose recommendations.

Can You Take Tylenol on an Empty Stomach?

You can take Tylenol without food. It’s best to take it with a glass of water, but some people may experience nausea if they take it on an empty stomach. If you become unwell, take Tylenol with or after eating the next time.

Tylenol, the most commonly used brand for acetaminophen, is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (reduces temperature during a fever). It is available over-the-counter (OTC) to treat mild aches and fevers. It is safe to consume on an empty stomach.

Continue reading to learn more about Tylenol, its negative effects, and the recommended dosages.

What is Tylenol?

Tylenol is a pain reliever used to treat various conditions such as headaches, muscle aches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, colds, and flu. It is available over the counter and in generic form. The recommended dose for adults is 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

How does Tylenol work?

Tylenol is a pain reliever used to treat various conditions such as headaches, muscle aches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, or fever. The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, which blocks prostaglandins’ production. Prostaglandins are chemicals released in response to injury or illness and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the production of prostaglandins, acetaminophen reduces pain and inflammation.

Is it safe to take Tylenol on an empty stomach?

It is safe to take Tylenol on an empty stomach. However, it is recommended that you take it with food or milk to reduce the risk of stomach upset. Tylenol can be taken every four to six hours as needed.

Is Tylenol Safe to Take on an Empty Stomach?

Tylenol absorbs more quickly on an empty stomach since no food can slow the absorption process. On the other hand, people with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts may need to take the drug with meals.

Tylenol is not as bad for your stomach as Aspirin or Advil. Because of their negative effects on the digestive system, aspirin and Advil should be taken with or after meals.

Tylenol is less potent and gentler on the body. If you feel unwell or queasy after taking Tylenol on an empty stomach, take it with food or after you eat the following time.

Are there any side effects of taking Tylenol on an empty stomach

Tylenol is a pain reliever that is available over the counter. It is generally considered safe to take, but there are some potential side effects. Taking Tylenol on an empty stomach may cause nausea or an upset stomach. It is also important to know that Tylenol can interact with other medications, so it is always best to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking it.

Tylenol could potentially interfere with antibiotics, antifungals, sulfa drugs, tuberculosis medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, blood pressure medication, cancer medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, gout or arthritis medications (including gold injections), HIV/AIDS medications, psychiatric disorder medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or seizure medications.

Tylenol formulation

Adults Only

  1. Capsules Extra Strength packs 500 mg Acetaminophen
  2. Tylenol Extra Strength Coated Tablets 500 mg Acetaminophen
  3. Tylenol PM Extra Strength Liquid for children over 12 years old and adults
  4. Dissolve Packs for over 12 years old and adults (Tylenol)


  1. Tylenol for 4 – 11 years old
  2. Children’s Tylenol for 6-11 years old
  3. Chewables for 2 – 11 years old
  4. Children’s Tylenol Dissolve Packs for 6 – 11 years old

Dosages Suggestions

You must consider the person’s weight and age for the right dose. Tylenol should not be given to a youngster who weighs less than 36 pounds and is under the age of two or four.

Adults Only

  • Capsules Extra Strength packs 500 mg Acetaminophen: 2 powders every 6 hours as needed.
  • Extra Strength Coated Tablets 500 mg Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed, not to exceed six tablets within twenty-four hours.
  • PM Extra Strength Liquid for children over 12 years old and adults (Tylenol): 30 ml at bedtime, not to exceed 30 ml within twenty-four hours
  • Dissolve Packs for over 12 years old and adults (Tylenol): 2 powders every 6 hours as needed, not to exceed six packs within twenty-four hours.


Tylenol for children aged 4 to 11 years: (not to exceed five doses in twenty-four hours)

  • 4 to 5 years old; 36 to 47 pounds – 5 mL every 4 hours
  • 6-11 years old, 48-95 pounds – 10 mL every 4 hours

Children’s Tylenol (cold and flu) for children aged 6 to 11 years old weighing 48 to 95 pounds: 

  • 10 mL every 4 hours (not to exceed five doses in twenty-four hours)

Chewables for children aged 2 to 11 years: (not to exceed five doses in twenty-four hours)

  • 2 to 3 years old; 24 to 35 pounds – 1 pill every 4 hours
  • 4–5 years old; 36-47 pounds – 112 pills every 4 hours
  • 6 to 8 years old; 48 to 59 pounds – 2 pills every 4 hours
  • 9–10 years old; 60–71 pounds = 212 pills per 4 hours
  • 11 years old; weight between 71 and 95 pounds – 3 pills every 4 hours

Children’s Dissolve Packs (Tylenol) for ages 6 to 11 (not to exceed five doses in twenty-four hours)

  • 6-8 years old; 48–59 pounds – 2 powders every 4 hours
  • 9–10 years old; 60-71 pounds – 2 powders every 4 hours
  • 11 years old; weighs between 71 and 95 pounds – 3 powders every 4 hours

High doses cause liver damage.

Acetaminophen’s most dangerous adverse effect is liver damage, which can be deadly. Liver damage can occur if a person surpasses the maximum daily dose of 4,000 milligrams, although it has also been observed in some persons at far lower amounts.

To protect patients from unintentional overdoses and subsequent liver damage, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the manufacturer of Tylenol, reduced the maximum daily doses and increased the dosing intervals on the labeling of some of their over-the-counter products used in older pediatric patients (usually children 12 years and adolescents) and adults in 2011.

For example, the maximum daily doses of Extra Strength Tylenol and Regular Strength Tylenol were reduced to 3,000 mg/day and 3,250 mg/day, respectively.

At the same time, the dosage interval for Extra Strength Tylenol was doubled. Providers may continue to prescribe or suggest the 4 g adult daily limit to patients aged 12 and above (but are advised to use their discretion and clinical judgment).

Several people have filed claims alleging liver failure due to consuming the authorized dosage. The narrow line between the prescribed dose and the level at which the medicine turns toxic is one of the reasons some experts warn about Tylenol’s hazards.

The maximum safe daily oral dosage for children is 75 mg/kg. Using that guidance, a 40-pound youngster might safely eat two 160 mg Children’s Tylenol pills up to four times in 24 hours.

Severe damage can develop in as little as 24 hours, and the condition is so widespread that acetaminophen intoxication is the primary cause of acute liver failure in the United States. When the medicine is used with alcohol, the risk of liver damage increases.

“Use of Tylenol, especially when combined with alcohol, can easily induce hepatitis and liver failure,” Dr. Joel Weinstock, professor and chairman of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, told ABC News. “This [liver failure] happens all the time.” Because of the severity of the liver disease, some of these individuals will require [a] liver transplant.”

Tylenol and Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

Tylenol is used throughout pregnancy and is the medicine of choice for the short-term treatment of fever and slight discomfort. Although Tylenol is secreted in minute amounts in breast milk, it is safe to use by nursing moms.

What Are the Applications of Tylenol?

Because Tylenol’s impact is very brief, you can take another dose if you feel bad. However, if the symptoms linger for three days or longer, you should see a doctor since they might result from a serious underlying ailment.

Tylenol can be used as an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (temperature reducer) for the following conditions:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Symptoms of influenza
  • Common colds
  • Toothache
  • Backache
  • Cramps during menstruation
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Muscle ache
  • Minor aches and pains

Tylenol Adverse Reactions

Many people have no negative side effects. However, a few people are allergic to it, which can cause anaphylactic shock.

If you observe any allergy symptoms, visit the nearest clinic and see a doctor. Allergy symptoms include:

  • Rashes on the skin
  • Itching
  • Tongue enlargement
  • Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing)

It should be noted that anaphylactic shock caused by an allergy is lethal. However, you will be OK following an anti-allergy medication or injection dosage.

Tylenol has the following minimal side effects:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness

As previously stated, Tylenol can be taken on an empty stomach; however, some people may feel nauseous or mildly unwell. If you do become unwell, take Tylenol with or after eating the following time.

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, has the following uncommon adverse effects:

  • Urinary incontinence (difficulty in urination)
  • Stools in dark colors
  • Extreme stomach ache

Tylenol Safety Precautions

  • Keep the drug at room temperature (between 20 and 25 °C). Avoid putting it in heated regions since this will limit its efficacy.
  • Only take Tylenol as required. Once the pain or fever has subsided, discontinue the use of Tylenol. Taking Tylenol should not be confused with taking antibiotics or maintenance medications.
  • If you are pregnant or nursing, please consult your doctor before using this drug. Even if there haven’t been any large-scale studies on the safe use of Tylenol in these settings, you should still be cautious. According to several studies, taking acetaminophen for four weeks or more before giving birth increases the unborn baby’s chances of ADHD and autism.
  • If you combine Tylenol with other acetaminophen-containing medications, your risk of liver damage rises.
  • Before using Tylenol, anyone with organ dysfunction (liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs) should visit a doctor. As their organs fail to operate effectively, the doctor may have to reduce the dosage.
  • Don’t exceed the suggested dosage because doing so can cause serious liver damage; for example, consuming more than 4,000 mg daily can cause severe liver damage.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol while taking Tylenol might also be harmful to your liver. Taking a drink, on the other hand, will have no impact. To be safe, avoid consuming alcohol while taking Tylenol.
  • You may be allergic to Acetaminophen if you get skin rashes while using Tylenol. In addition, if the adverse effects are severe, you should discontinue Tylenol.
  • Consult your doctor if the discomfort lasts more than 10 days.
  • If you still have a fever after three days, see your doctor since you might have a serious disease.
  • Before taking, fully chew the chewable Tylenol. Do not swallow the entire pill without first chewing it.
  • Keep out of the reach of youngsters by storing it in a locked medicine cabinet.

Contraindications to Tylenol Use


If you are allergic to acetaminophen, do not use Tylenol. Instead, you might take Ibuprofen. If you insist, allergic responses can be life-threatening.

Diseases of the Liver

Long-term high-dose consumption can harm the liver. As a result, if a person has a liver condition, he should not use Tylenol unless prescribed by a doctor.

Cirrhosis, cancer, hepatitis, and liver damage or malfunction are all examples of liver illnesses.

Vomiting and Fasting

Tylenol should be avoided if you are vomiting. Instead, see your doctor about injectable antipyretics or analgesics like Propacetamol.

Medications for Blood Thinners

Concurrent usage of blood-thinning medications such as warfarin and aspirin is not recommended. A high dose of these medications increases the person’s risk of bleeding.

Tylenol may also interact with the following medications:

  • Carbamazepine
  • Isoniazid
  • Phenytoin
  • Probenecid
  • Barbiturates
  • Dapsone
  • Lamotrigine
  • Busulfan
  • Flucloxacillin
  • Phenylephrine

We’ve addressed the subject, “Can Tylenol be taken on an empty stomach?” or “Does Tylenol have to be taken with food?”; secondly, consider how your food interacts with Tylenol.

Taking Tylenol When You’re Hungry

It might be uncomfortable to wake up in the morning in pain. You want to start the day with a clean slate and a productive mentality. Pain, on the other hand, makes it difficult to acquire such an attitude — especially so early in the morning.

Water Is An Important Factor

When you wake up in discomfort, you may wonder if you can take Tylenol on an empty stomach. It is vital to understand that this is not the same as asking if you can consume Tylenol without water. If you choose to chew Tylenol to improve absorption, you should not do so while drinking water.

If you search Tylenol on Reddit on an empty stomach, you will discover that many individuals report no major adverse effects. This is because most individuals handle acetaminophen on an empty stomach well. Some people claim to have increased effectiveness. In this case, we should note what happens when Tylenol is taken on an empty stomach.

When you have an empty stomach, you are more efficient.

When you have food in your stomach, it works as a diluent for whatever medications you are taking. In addition to absorbing the chemicals in Tylenol, your digestive system must guarantee that any nutrients included in the food you eat are absorbed.

Taking acetaminophen on an empty stomach is the only substance in your stomach, along with some water. It indicates that taking Tylenol on an empty stomach may help your body absorb acetaminophen more efficiently and rapidly. It will also work more quickly.

Is it thus harmful to take Tylenol on an empty stomach? Most of the time, it isn’t.

The Effects of Ingredients on the Stomach

Taking Tylenol for arthritis on an empty stomach will have a different effect than taking ordinary Tylenol. Tylenol Arthritis has a larger dosage than ordinary Tylenol. Furthermore, the Arthritis version has an extended-release capsule. This implies that the total dose of acetaminophen is not released at once. Instead, the chemicals are gently delivered to your stomach over eight hours.

Diphenhydramine Must Not Be Ignored

Similarly, the chemicals utilized in Tylenol PM are distinct. Diphenhydramine is the active component in Tylenol PM. This is an example of an antihistamine. It is frequently used to alleviate allergy problems.

Diphenhydramine is also an efficient cold medication; the chemical can relieve severe fever symptoms. Some people use the medicine to sleep better at night since it produces lethargy and tiredness.

Although diphenhydramine is not extremely irritating to the stomach, some people develop negative effects. This antihistamine has been associated with various adverse effects, including stomach distress, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. You may be more prone to adverse effects if you take medicine on an empty stomach.

Because certain Tylenol medications might cause gastrointestinal irritation, always read the contents label carefully. For example, Tylenol’s effects on stomach ulcers have not been extensively studied. Because the prescription might cause stomach irritation, it is best to avoid taking it on an empty stomach if you have an ulcer.

Tylenol Interactions with Food

When you take Tylenol with food, Acetaminophen combines with the food as it digests. As a result, partial digestion takes place in the stomach, and total digestion in the small intestines.

Tylenol is reabsorbed by the intestinal villi in the same way as vital elements from food are. As a result, the procedure postpones the drug’s absorption and subsequent activity.

Certain medicines might react with the food you consume in some cases. When you consume grapefruit, for example, the efficacy of Atorvastatin is reduced.

Tylenol, on the other hand, has no documented dietary interactions. As a result, you can take it with or without meals.


Is Tylenol Harmful to Children?

If used as indicated, Tylenol is safe for both children and adults. Most formulations are not recommended for children under two or four. Please refer to the doses listed above.

What Happens If You Take Tylenol on an Empty Stomach?

Nothing will happen unless you have other medical disorders like vomiting, ulcers, or stomach difficulties. Taking Tylenol on an empty stomach is preferable since it hastens the absorption of the medicine, allowing it to operate more rapidly on your pain or fever.

When your stomach is empty, what pain relievers may you take?

In addition to Tylenol, you can take Paracetamol on an empty stomach. However, Ibuprofen, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), and Aspirin should not be used while your stomach is empty. These drugs induce stomach distress and gastrointestinal inflammation.

Is Tylenol or Ibuprofen More Effective?

These two medications are both antipyretics and analgesics. On the other hand, Ibuprofen has an anti-inflammatory effect, while Tylenol does not. Finally, this activity improves Ibuprofen’s ability to alleviate pain induced by inflammatory diseases.

This is especially true in adult symptoms caused by inflammatory disorders such as gouty arthritis and joint issues.

Ibuprofen should always be taken with meals. Tylenol should not be taken with meals.

Acetaminophen (7-15mg/kg body weight) had the same effectiveness as Ibuprofen (4-10 mg/kg body weight) in treating moderate to severe pain, according to one study.

As a result, “there is no evidence that the medications differ in safety from each other or placebo.” They did, however, urge that additional researchers perform a comprehensive and in-depth investigation on this topic.

How long does Tylenol take to start working?

The formulation determines when Tylenol (acetaminophen) takes to begin functioning. Before an oral preparation may have an impact, it must first dissolve in the stomach and then be absorbed into the bloodstream. If you take Tylenol on an empty stomach, the estimated time it may take before you experience a reduction in your pain is as follows:

  • Tylenol liquid, orally dissolving tablets: 20 minutes
  • 30 to 45 minutes for oral pills, 30 to 45 minutes for extended-release tablets
  • 5 to 10 minutes for intravenous acetaminophen.

Tylenol may take up to twice as long to take action if taken on an empty stomach, depending on the formulation. Tylenol often takes longer to lower fever than it does to relieve pain.

Can I take Meloxicam with Aleve or Tylenol?

Meloxicam and Aleve (naproxen) are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) used to treat pain and fever while reducing inflammation. They treat mild to moderate pain caused by headaches, menstruation, migraines, arthritis, sprains and strains, and toothache.

For moderate discomfort that cannot be alleviated by NSAIDs alone, NSAIDs can be used with Tylenol (acetaminophen).

Taking more than one NSAID simultaneously increases your chance of having negative effects.

The most common side effects include gastrointestinal upsets such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach lining irritation, nausea, or vomiting. NSAIDs also impair kidney function by slowing the passage of blood through the kidneys. They may induce salt and water retention, edema, and elevated potassium levels.

Some NSAIDs are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular thrombotic events such as heart attack or stroke. NSAIDs can also cause asthma, headaches, sleeplessness, and hives.

Combining Tylenol with either meloxicam or Aleve is safer, but you should not take meloxicam and Aleve simultaneously.

Consult your doctor if the discomfort persists or worsens.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

If you regularly take acetaminophen, take it as soon as you recall. However, do not take another dose until the required time has elapsed (such as 4 hours for a regular tablet or capsule).

Contact your pharmacist if you are unclear about what to do. It is critical to note that you should never take more than the suggested amount. If you use acetaminophen regularly for pain or fever, you can take it whenever you need it, but no sooner than the time specified on the package.

Conclusion, Can You Take Tylenol on an Empty Stomach?

So, can Tylenol be taken on an empty stomach? Yes, but you should drink it with a glass of water.

Taking Tylenol with meals is still suggested for people with especially sensitive stomachs. If you fall into this category, you should take Tylenol with or after meals.

Remember to stay hydrated whether you take Tylenol on an empty stomach or with meals.


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