This Is How Long It Takes For Tylenol To Start Working

Correction 08/29/22: A previous version of this article described Tylenol as an NSAID. The revised article has removed this error. Tylenol is not classified as an NSAID.

If you're after an over-the-counter medicine to relieve pain, Tylenol is an option. It helps treat fever as well. According to, Tylenol is also known as acetaminophen.

However, unlike other pain medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, it is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), per Healthline, so it does not bring down swelling or reduce inflammation. Instead, it works by blocking the release of certain chemicals that cause the sensation of pain.

If you've been prescribed acetaminophen, you might be wondering how long it takes to work. Medline Plus asserts that different types of pain respond better to certain medications. Furthermore, the formulation of the medication is another factor that influences the speed at which the medication works, per How you take the medication also influences its effectiveness.

What's the most effective way to take Tylenol?

Acetaminophen comes in various dosage forms: tablets, solutions, granules, suspensions, granules, and suppositories, according to Mayo Clinic. In addition to being approved for adults, the drug can also be used for children. However, the dosage for children varies according to age and body weight. Depending on the dosage form, there are various recommendations on how best to use the drug. Be sure to check the package insert before consumption. Also, speak with your doctor for further assistance about which dosage is best and whether acetaminophen is compatible with the medications you're currently taking. gives an approximate time frame to notice pain reduction based on the various forms taken on an empty stomach. Twenty minutes is the time given for orally disintegrating tablets. The extended-release tablets have an active time frame of 30 to 45 minutes, while the intravenous acetaminophen takes around 5 to 10 minutes.

What side effects can Tylenol have?

Acetaminophen is considered to be well tolerated by most people. According to a 2014 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, it can also be used during breastfeeding. However, you shouldn't exceed the maximum amount for a day and always comply with the time intervals listed in the package leaflet. This minimizes the chances of overdosing on acetaminophen, which can cause potential negative effects on the liver.

Acetaminophen has been touted as a liver-damaging agent, according to Mayo Clinic. In fact, the drug can attack the liver if you significantly overdose or take it for too long, per Mayo Clinic. Liver tissue destruction is potentially life-threatening. So, people with impaired liver or kidney function should only take acetaminophen as advised by their doctor. Symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose include nausea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite (via If you experience such symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Furthermore, always read the expiration date before use and store the drug carefully for better effectiveness and poisoning prevention, per Medline Plus.