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.
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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.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, The Recovery Village is here to help. We tailor our treatment programs to fit every patient’s needs, ensuring that their addiction and any underlying conditions are addressed in a safe and supportive environment. Contact us today to speak with a representative and learn more about our individualized addiction treatment options.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Xanax.” February 14, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2020.
Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition. “Common Medicines Containing Acetaminophen.” Accessed June 27, 2020.
Tylenol for Healthcare Professionals. “Dosing Information for Infants, Children and Adults.” Accessed June 27, 2020.
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