Tylenol with Codeine – A Powerful Combination of Painkillers

Codeine And Tylenol

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Table of Contents

Tylenol and Codeine Overview

Tylenol is a well-known pain and fever reducer that had its introduction in 1955 by McNeil. Its main ingredient is acetaminophen which they use to treat many conditions such as headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fevers. Codeine is an opiate-based drug and is most commonly used to treat pain and diarrhea. It is also one of the major ingredients of several prescription and non-prescription cough syrups. Tylenol with Codeine is a combination drug created to treat conditions that needs something stronger.

What is a Tylenol-Codeine combination?

Tylenol and Codeine are both potent pain relievers. The combination of the two is most frequently used after surgeries. It is a strong narcotic and analgesic/antipyretic. It applies its effects in the brain and nervous system to decrease severe pain.
One should be wary of the dire consequences this combination can have on one’s system. This is because both Tylenol and Codeine are strong pain relievers containing acetaminophen. Excessive doses of acetaminophen (4,000 mg per day and more) can cause serious liver damage. Therefore, in the long run may even require a liver transplant. Furthermore, one should not use the combination of Tylenol and Codeine to treat any type of pain in under-aged children.

Avoid Taking Tylenol With Codeine

  • If one is allergic to any of the ingredients found in Tylenol with Codeine.
  • If one has a slow or difficult breathing, or if one is having an asthma attack.
  • If one is consuming quinidine or sodium oxybate (GHB).
  • If the patient is a child.
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Side Effects Of Codeine and Tylenol

Side effects of Codeine and Tylenol include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Precautions Before Using Tylenol with Codeine

Certain medical conditions and even medication may interact with Tylenol with Codeine. Therefore, let the doctor know about any of the following:

  • one is planning to become pregnant, or are already pregnant and breastfeeding.
  • one is taking any dietary supplements, prescription or nonprescription medicine.
  • one has any allergies to medicines or certain foods.
  • one is suffering from a heart condition, a kidney problem, a liver problem, or prostate problems, and etc.
  • one has a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
  • one had recently undergone surgery.
  • one has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Vital Findings About Tylenol with Codeine

Recent use of tranquilizers, alcohol, sedatives, or other narcotic medications may also become an issue. It is highly advised against using Tylenol with Codeine in this case. In addition, stay away from this drug combination if the ingestion of MAO inhibitors took place in the past 14 days. They include isocarboxazid, linezolid, and methylene blue injection, etc.). Furthermore, exceeding the prescribed dosage can have irreversible dire consequences. As a result, to avoid liver damage and other ramifications, do not overdose on Tylenol with Codeine. Lastly, do one notice skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling? Then, immediately stop taking this medicine and call the doctor.

Medications checked in combination with Tylenol and Codeine


  • Acetaminophen
  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Albuterol.
  • Alprazolam
  • Azithromycin
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Fluticasone nasal
  • Ibuprofen


  • Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) (ethanol)
  • Aspirin Low Strength (aspirin)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Celebrex (celecoxib)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
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View Sources
  1. Carmen Straube, Sheena Derry, Kenneth C Jackson, Philip J Wiffen, Rae Frances Bell, Scott Strassels, Sebastian Straube. Codeine, alone and with paracetamol (acetaminophen), for cancer pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Sep; 2014(9): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513650/
  2. Laurence Toms, R Andrew Moore, Henry J McQuay, Sheena Derry. Single dose oral paracetamol (acetaminophen) with codeine for postoperative pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171965/
  3. Philip J Wiffen, Roger Knaggs, Sheena Derry, Peter Cole, Tudor Phillips, R Andrew Moore. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) with or without codeine or dihydrocodeine for neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463878/
Sharon Levy

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


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