Many people have the misconception that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are inherently safe. While many OTC drugs are considered generally safe, consumers should always be aware of their risks and side effects. This is especially true when taking any prescription drugs, as some OTC products can interact with prescription medications.

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. is Xanax (alprazolam), and one of the most widely used OTC drugs is Tylenol (acetaminophen or paracetamol). This overview covers the potential risks involved in combining the two drugs.

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It’s typically safe to mix Xanax and Tylenol when using acetaminophen alone. However, the daily intake of acetaminophen should remain under 3,000 mg. Further, they shouldn’t be combined with substances like prescription opioids, as they can have dangerous or deadly effects.

Lastly, check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking Xanax with acetaminophen-containing products to ensure none of the ingredients are central nervous system depressants. Mixing central nervous system depressants with Xanax can also be dangerous.

Can You Mix Xanax and Tylenol?

Because Xanax and Tylenol are such common medications, many people wonder whether it’s safe to use both at the same time. Fortunately, no drug interactions exist between the two. Although both drugs are broken down by the liver, they are broken down in different ways. For this reason, most people should be able to take Xanax and Tylenol safely.

Interactions with Other Drugs that Contain Acetaminophen

While Xanax and Tylenol may be safe to use together, Xanax can interact poorly with other drugs that contain acetaminophen. For example, if someone were to mix Xanax with an opioid, such as Percocet, which contains acetaminophen, it can be very dangerous. This is not due to the acetaminophen in the product; instead, it’s because of the opioid.

In fact, the FDA has a black box warning on both opioid and benzodiazepine products for this reason. Mixing benzodiazepines and opioids can increase the risk of respiratory depression and a potentially deadly overdose.

In addition, some acetaminophen-containing drugs like Nyquil also contain central nervous system depressants. Mixing central nervous system depressants with Xanax is also risky because it can cause oversedation. The best thing you can do if you’re wondering if you can mix acetaminophen-containing products with Xanax is to speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.