What should I know about Tylenol with Codeine before taking it?

Before taking Tylenol with Codeine (acetaminophen and codeine) to treat your mild to moderate pain, you should know that it can make you sleepy, so you should not drive or do other dangerous tasks until you know how the drug will affect you.

You should know that Tylenol with Codeine can interact with other medications, so before you start taking it, you should tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements that you take. Once you're on Tylenol with Codeine, do not start any new medication without talking to your doctor first. It's important to be aware that drinking alcohol or taking other central nervous system depressants, such as antidepressants, sedatives or tranquilizers, can increase your risk for serious side effects. You should also avoid other medications that contain acetaminophen because excess amounts may cause liver damage. The Food and Drug Administration recommends taking no more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen a day.

Before you take Tylenol with Codeine, you should know that certain medical conditions could increase your risks for side effects. Give your doctor a complete medical history before you start this drug. Be sure to mention if you have or had liver or kidney disease, a history of alcoholism, lung or thyroid disease, an enlarged prostate or urinary problems. Also let your doctor know if you've ever been told that you're an ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine because that may mean you should be given a lower dose of this drug. You should not take Tylenol with Codeine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, especially acetaminophen, codeine or sulfite.

You should also be aware that Tylenol with Codeine may be habit forming. Do not take more of it than your doctor prescribes or take it more often or for a longer time.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. The two of you will need to talk about the potential risks of this drug and decide if it makes sense for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.