Arthritis Home > Tylenol Uses

Minor aches and pains associated with numerous conditions can be treated with Tylenol. This non-prescription drug can also be used to relieve pain caused by headaches, premenstrual and menstrual cramps, muscle aches, and the common cold. "Off-label" uses for Tylenol may also include the treatment of migraines. Tylenol is approved to treat fevers and minor aches and pains in children and infants.

What Is Tylenol Used For?

Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is an over-the-counter (non-prescription) medication that is used as a pain reliever. In particular, Tylenol is approved for treating minor aches and pains due to the following problems:
 
Tylenol is also approved for reducing fevers.
 

What Isn't Tylenol Used For?

Every bottle of Tylenol warns of a few situations in which you should not take the drug. These situations include:
 
  • If a fever gets worse or lasts for more than three days
  • If pain gets worse or lasts for more than ten days
  • If swelling or redness is also present
  • If new symptoms occur.
     
These situations may indicate a more serious problem, which should be evaluated by your healthcare provider. The medicine is not necessarily dangerous in these situations, but you should not use Tylenol instead of seeing your healthcare provider.
 
Also, Tylenol is not very good at reducing inflammation, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may work better for problems that involve inflammation (such as muscle injuries). Tylenol is not the best choice for people with liver disease, such as cirrhosis or liver failure, since it may cause further liver damage. If you drink three or more alcoholic beverages per day, you should not take Tylenol unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so. Chronic alcohol use affects the way your body handles the medication (see Tylenol and Alcohol).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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