Is it Safe to Mix Tylenol and Prednisone?
Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to decrease inflammation in various diseases, including arthritis, severe allergic reactions, and multiple sclerosis. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a pain reliever commonly used to manage mild to moderate pain caused by headaches, muscle aches, menstruation, colds and sore throat, toothache, back pain, and reactions vaccines.
No interaction has been found between the two drugs so far. You should always consult your doctor before starting any new medication.
What is prednisone?
Prednisone is a glucocorticoid drug that contains steroids. These steroids (hydrocortisone and cortisone) work by reducing the activity of your immune system, which can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue 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 medicine is also used to treat a number of other conditions:
- Blood disorders: Autoimmune hemolytic anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, leukemia and lymphoma
- Skin diseases: Atopic dermatitis (eczema), severe psoriasis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Endocrine disorders: Addison’s disease and congenital hyperplasia
- Eye allergic reactions: Conjunctivitis (pink eye), keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) and optic neuritis (inflammation that damages the optic nerve)
- Rheumatic disorders: Gout, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Allergic reactions: Seasonal allergies, bronchial asthma and drug hypersensitivity reactions
- Respiratory diseases: Asthma, berylliosis (metal poisoning caused by inhalation), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Loeffler syndrome which cannot be managed by other means
- Gastrointestinal illnesses: Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
- Various troubles: Trichinosis (roundworm infection) and tuberculous meningitis
Warnings about corticosteroids
Because corticosteroids decrease the function of your immune system, taking them may increase your susceptibility to infections. If you are taking this medicine, you should avoid being around sick or infected people, and you should not be given live vaccines, such as smallpox vaccine.
Corticosteroids can also mask signs of infection and increase a patient’s risk of developing severe, even fatal, responses to infections such as chickenpox and measles in children and unimmunized adults. Tuberculosis patients taking corticosteroids require additional monitoring because of the drug’s potential to reactivate disease.
Taking medium or high doses of prednisone can raise your blood pressure and cause salt and water retention, so salt restriction may be necessary. Prednisone also causes increased excretion of potassium and calcium. Therefore, if you are taking this medicine, you should have these levels monitored by your doctor. Supplementation may be necessary.
Suddenly stopping corticosteroids may cause withdrawal symptoms.
When to call your doctor
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, call your doctor or 911 immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Severe pain in the upper stomach
- Bloody or tarry stools
- Severe depression
- Personality or behavior changes
- Vision problems or eye pain
What is Tylenol?
Tylenol is a brand of acetaminophen. As a pain reliever, it works by stopping your brain from releasing pain signals or increasing your brain’s pain threshold. As a fever reducer, it works by working on your brain’s heat regulating center (the hypothalamus).
Conditions treated with Tylenol include:
- Back ache
- Common cold
- Muscle pain
- Premenstrual and menstrual cramps
Taking too much acetaminophen can cause serious damage to the liver. The daily dose in adults should not exceed 3250 mg within 24 hours and children should not consume more than 1625 mg within 24 hours.
Do not mix this medicine with other medicines containing acetaminophen. If you have liver disease or are taking the anticoagulant medication Warfarin, consult your doctor before taking Tylenol. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask a healthcare practitioner about the risks before use.
Serious skin reactions (redness, rash, and blistering) can occur in people who are allergic to acetaminophen. If this happens, stop taking Tylenol and see a doctor immediately.
When to call your doctor
If you experience the following, call your doctor immediately:
- Pain worsens or lasts more than 10 days in adults
- Pain worsens or lasts more than five days in children under 12
- The fever gets worse or lasts more than three days
- New symptoms appear
- Redness or swelling is present
In case of overdose, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Is it safe to take prednisone with tylenol?
Generally speaking, it is safe to take prednisone with Tylenol because no known drug interactions or drug or food interactions have been found. Always consult your doctor to discuss his recommendations.
A word from Verywell
Tylenol and prednisone can be taken together as long as the dosage and other safety guidelines for each are followed. Talk to your doctor before starting, adjusting, or stopping any medication, and always mention any drug allergies or medical concerns.
Also, tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you are taking so that they know if prednisone and Tylenol are safe for you. If you experience an adverse reaction to either or both of the medicines, seek help from a healthcare professional immediately.