Can You Take Aleve and Tylenol Together?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Aleve (naproxen) can be taken with Tylenol (acetaminophen).

Question

Can Tylenol be taken between doses of naproxen?

Asked by Grandpa Gary On Nov 30, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Dec 06, 2022
Last updated Apr 11, 2024

Key points

  • There is no interaction between Aleve (naproxen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen). Both drugs are in different classes and don't interfere with one another.
  • Advil Dual Action is a product on the market that contains both an NSAID (ibuprofen, which is an NSAID like naproxen), and acetaminophen in a single pill.
  • It is also safe to take Tylenol in-between doses of naproxen, but make sure you follow the dosage instructions for each drug since Tylenol can be dosed more frequently than naproxen can.

Answer

Yes, you can take Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Aleve (naproxen) together. There is no known interaction between the drugs.

As you mentioned in your question to us, you can also take Tylenol in-between doses of Aleve. However, make sure you are following the instructions for each drug since each has a different duration of action, and are dosed differently.

Tylenol With NSAIDs

Even though Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Aleve (naproxen) are pain-relievers, and both are classified as analgesics, they are in different drug classes. They do work similarly, but work Tylenol lacks the anti-inflammatory effects that Aleve (naproxen) has.

Tylenol is a 'para-aminophenol' analgesic, the only one of its kind available over the counter.

Naproxen, on the other hand, is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), of which there are many available both over the counter and prescription (e.g., ibuprofen, meloxicam, diclofenac, etodolac, sulindac, etc...).

Both Tylenol and NSAIDs (such as naproxen) can be taken together, or you can alternate them to help you decrease your total daily dose of each in order to reduce the risk of side effects.

In fact, there is a product on the market that contains both Tylenol and an NSAID (ibuprofen in this case) in a single pill, Advil Dual Action:

Advil Dual Action image

There is no product that contains both Tylenol and naproxen in a single pill, but this is just an example to show you that NSAIDs and Tylenol are safe to take together.

There May Be A Benefit To Alternating Tylenol And NSAIDs

Several studies have shown that alternating doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen can be more effective at treating symptoms of a fever when compared to either alone.

This is likely because NSAIDs and Tylenol have similar pain-relieving and fever-reducing effects, and alternating them every few hours allows these actions to be somewhat continuous.

I couldn't find any studies regarding alternating Tylenol and naproxen, but this is likely due to the long duration of action of naproxen (which is around 8-12 hours) making it not as suitable to alternate with Tylenol when compared to ibuprofen (both of which last four to six hours).

Nevertheless, as long as you don't exceed the recommended dosages of naproxen and Tylenol per day, they are safe to use together or alternate. These recommended dosages are:

  • Acetaminophen (Adults): 325 to 650 mg by mouth every 4 to 6 hours, as needed. Maximum daily dose: 4,000 mg per day
  • Naproxen (Adults; Over-The-Counter Use): 220 mg every 8 to 12 hours. For the first dose, you may take 2 tablets within the first hour. Maximum daily dose: 660mg per day

It should be noted naproxen is also available as a prescription, and the recommended dosages are different if you are taking that drug under the supervision of your doctor. The above dosing is for over-the-counter use.

Final Words

I hope this answer was helpful to you. Thanks for reaching out!

References

  • Acetaminophen Monograph, PubChem
  • Naproxen Monograph, PubChem
  • Alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen in the treatment of febrile children: a pilot study [ISRCTN30487061], PubMed
  • Alternating Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen versus Monotherapies in Improvements of Distress and Reducing Refractory Fever in Febrile Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PubMed
  • Alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain in children, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

Recent Questions