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Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation associated with certain medical conditions, such as menstrual cramps, backache, and toothache. Several different strengths of Tylenol are available, from 325 mg to 650 mg.
 
Dosing guidelines vary, depending on the type of Tylenol and the strength, as well as individual factors, such as a person's age. For example, consider the following recommendations for adults and children age 12 and older:
 
  • Regular strength (325 mg) Tylenol -- 2 tablets every four to six hours as needed, not to exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours
     
  • Extra-strength (500 mg) Tylenol -- 2 tablets (or gel tabs) every four to six hours as needed, not to exceed 8 tablets in 24 hours.
     
The reason why you should not exceed the recommended amount in a 24-hour period is to prevent Tylenol poisoning, which can be fatal. This includes other sources of acetaminophen, including many prescription pain medications and nonprescription cold and cough remedies.
 
(Click Tylenol Dosage to learn more about the different forms and strengths of this medicine, and when they should be taken. This article also explains how this medication works and presents dosing guidelines for children ages 6 to 12.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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