Why You Should Avoid Taking Tylenol For A Hangover

If you drink often, you might be familiar with the pounding headache, queasy stomach, and overall feeling of malaise that hangovers come with. After a night of drinking, reaching for a pain reliever, like Tylenol, may be tempting to alleviate your symptoms.

After all, as you may know, Tylenol is a brand name for acetaminophen, which is widely used to relieve mild-to-moderate pain associated with headaches and muscle aches, as explained by Drugs.com. It is sometimes combined with other medications to provide additional pain relief or therapeutic effects. According to Healthline, it works by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that causes pain and fever and is available over the counter in different strengths.

While acetaminophen is generally considered safe and effective when used as directed, taking excessive amounts can be dangerous. Furthermore, taking Tylenol for a hangover might not be a good idea despite its effectiveness.

Mixing Tylenol with alcohol can put a strain on the liver

The experts at Medical News Today warn against mixing Tylenol with alcohol. The interaction between Tylenol and alcohol can further increase the liver's workload and potentially lead to liver damage or failure. After all, excessive alcohol consumption already significantly strains the liver, which is responsible for processing and eliminating alcohol from the body, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

One 2020 study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology found that when subjects consumed Tylenol, even after hours of not drinking, their levels of a toxic byproduct of Tylenol metabolism called NAPQI were significantly increased. This can lead to liver damage or even liver failure in severe cases. In fact, taking pain relievers like Tylenol after drinking may cause other adverse effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, an upset stomach, and rapid heartbeat. Instead of relying on Tylenol for hangover relief, addressing the root causes of your hangover is better. If you have any questions or concerns about using acetaminophen, it is best to speak to your doctor, especially if you are experiencing severe or persistent hangover symptoms.

How to manage a hangover

For starters, it's important to hydrate your body. When you drink alcohol, your body loses fluids, which can lead to dehydration, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Therefore, drinking plenty of water and other non-alcohol beverages can help rehydrate your body. In addition, eating a balanced meal with carbohydrates can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. The use of over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or aspirin, is okay since they can help alleviate headaches and other body aches associated with a hangover. However, remember to take them according to the package instructions and avoid taking them on an empty stomach. Lastly, always remember that getting enough rest is also crucial when recovering from a hangover. Give your body time to recover by getting plenty of sleep and avoiding strenuous activities. 

By following these tips and being gentle with yourself, you can manage your hangover symptoms and start feeling better quickly. To avoid the unpleasant aftermath of a hangover, remember to always drink responsibly and know your limits.