Mixing Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and Prednisone: What You Should Know

Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to decrease inflammation in different diseases, including arthritis, severe allergic reactions, and multiple sclerosis. It works by lowering the activity of the immune system.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a pain reliever commonly used to manage mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches, backaches, and reactions to vaccinations.

No interaction has been found between the two medications so far. You should always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new medication.

Young Asian woman sitting on bed and feeling sick, taking medicines in hand with a glass of water

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What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid drug that contains steroids. These steroids (hydrocortisone and cortisone) work by lowering the activity of your immune system, which can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks healthy joint tissues and causes inflammation.

As such, prednisone is used in the treatment of different types of autoimmune diseases, which occur when the immune system attacks healthy cells.

This medication is also used to treat a number of other conditions:

Corticosteroid Warnings

Since corticosteroids lower the function of your immune system, taking them can increase your susceptibility to infection. If you are taking this medication, you should avoid being near people who are sick or have infections, and you should not receive live vaccines, such as the smallpox vaccine.

Corticosteroids can also mask signs of infection and increase a patient’s risk of developing severe and even fatal responses to infections such as chicken pox and measles in non-immune children and adults. Tuberculosis patients taking corticosteroids require additional monitoring due to the drug’s potential in reactivating the disease.

Taking average or large doses of prednisone can increase your blood pressure and cause salt and water retention, so dietary salt restriction may be necessary. Prednisone also results in increased excretion of potassium and calcium. Therefore, if you are on this medication, you should have those levels monitored by your healthcare provider. Supplementation may be necessary.

Stopping corticosteroids abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If you have any of the following serious side effects, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe pain in your upper stomach
  • Bloody or tarry stools
  • Severe depression
  • Changes in personality or behavior
  • Vision problems or eye pain

What Is Tylenol? 

Tylenol is a brand of acetaminophen. As a pain reliever, it works by blocking your brain from releasing pain signals or increasing your brain’s pain threshold. As a fever reducer, it works by acting on your brain’s heat-regulating center (hypothalamus). 

 Conditions treated by Tylenol include:

  • Backache
  • Common cold
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Premenstrual and menstrual cramps
  • Toothache
  • Fever

Acetaminophen Warnings

Taking too much acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage. Adult daily dosing should not exceed 3,250 mg within 24 hours, and children should not consume more than 1,625 mg within 24 hours.

Do not mix this drug with other medications containing acetaminophen. If you have liver disease or are taking the blood-thinning drug Warfarin, consult your healthcare provider before taking Tylenol. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask a healthcare professional about the risks before use.

Severe skin reactions (reddening, rashes, and blistering) can occur in people who are allergic to acetaminophen. If this happens, stop taking Tylenol and seek medical help immediately. 

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If you experience the following, call your healthcare provider right away: 

  • Pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days in adults
  • Pain gets worse or lasts more than five days in children under 12 years old
  • Fever gets worse or lasts more than three days
  • New symptoms occur
  • Redness or swelling is present

In the case of an overdose, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. 

Is it Safe to Take Prednisone With Tylenol? 

Generally speaking, it’s safe to take prednisone with Tylenol because no known drug interactions or drug and food interactions have been found. Always consult with your healthcare provider to discuss their recommendations.

A Word From Verywell

Tylenol and prednisone can be taken together so long as dosage and other safety guidelines for each are followed. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting, adjusting, or stopping any medication, and always mention any drug allergies or medical conditions.

Also, tell your healthcare provider about all the medications and supplements you are taking so they know whether prednisone and Tylenol are safe for you to use. If you are having an adverse reaction to either or both medications, seek help from a medical professional immediately. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I take for a headache while taking prednisone?

    Acetaminophen is recommended for headaches when taking prednisone. There is a risk of a moderate interaction between prednisone and ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking ibuprofen for a headache if you are taking prednisone.

  • What are common side effects of prednisone?

    Common side effects of prednisone include increased appetite, weight gain, acne, mood swings, and insomnia. More serious side effects can occur with long-term use. These include cataracts, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and bone damage in the hips. 

  • How much acetaminophen can I take?

    Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage. Adults can take between 325 mg and 1,000 mg of acetaminophen every four to six hours. Do not exceed 3,250 mg of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. DailyMed. TYLENOL REGULAR STRENGTH - acetaminophen tablet.

  3. MedlinePlus. Acetaminophen.