Can You Take Diclofenac And Tylenol At The Same Time?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the combined use of Tylenol and diclofenac.
I have a fever. Can I take my diclofenac and Tylenol at the same time?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated Mar 16, 2023
- Even though diclofenac and Tylenol are both pain-relievers, there is no known interaction between them.
- Some studies suggest that combining an NSAID (like diclofenac) and Tylenol can provide greater pain-relieving and fever-reducing effects than either alone.
There is no known drug interaction between diclofenac and Tylenol (acetaminophen). Even though they are both pain-relievers, they can generally be taken together safely.
Thanks for reaching out and great question!
In many cases, you don't want to combine two different medications that have a similar effect for various reasons, but in this situation, with diclofenac, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and Tylenol (acetaminophen), it is generally considered safe to do so.
Tylenol and diclofenac are in different drug classes, have slightly different mechanisms of action, and don't share many of the same side effects. In fact, there have been numerous studies that show combining an NSAID like diclofenac and Tylenol results in greater pain relief than taking either alone.
How Does Tylenol Work?
Tylenol (acetaminophen works by inhibiting cyclooxygenase enzymes mainly in the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord.
By blocking COX enzymes in the CNS, acetaminophen reduces the production of compounds known as prostaglandins. This results in analgesic (i.e., pain-relieving) and antipyretic (i.e., fever-reducing) effects.
How Does Diclofenac Work?
NSAIDs, like diclofenac, work by inhibiting COX enzymes to varying degrees.
Unlike Tylenol, however, which inhibits COX enzymes in the CNS, NSAIDs inhibit COX more in the peripheral tissues, which is why they have anti-inflammatory effects whereas Tylenol does not.
It is also why NSAIDs are generally associated with more side effects than Tylenol, as they can inhibit or reduce the production of prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining from acid damage, which can lead to ulcers, bleeding, and perforation. NSAIDs also have a mild blood-thinning effect due to the inhibition of COX in the peripheral tissues.
Taking Tylenol & Diclofenac Together?
As mentioned, while results have been mixed overall, some studies have shown that combining Tylenol and NSAIDs can result in greater pain relief and fever-reducing effects than taking either alone.
One such study stated the following:
Several controlled clinical studies among patients with musculoskeletal conditions, dental pain, or postoperative pain have shown that combinations of acetaminophen and NSAIDs provide additive pain-relieving activity, thereby leading to dose-sparing effects and improved safety.
There are even products currently available on the market that already contain both acetaminophen and an NSAID (e.g. Advil Dual-Action, which contains acetaminophen and ibuprofen).
So, diclofenac and Tylenol (acetaminophen) certainly can be taken together. There is no interaction between them and they may have additive effects.
As some studies have suggested as well, they can sometimes provide additive pain-relieving effects, allowing you to reduce the overall dosage of both.
I hope this answer helped and be sure to reach back out if anything else comes up!
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 90 views
Was this article helpful?
Visit Our Drug-Herbal Interaction Checker
Drug-Herbal Interaction CheckerCheck your medications for potential interactions with herbal supplements
Popular Interaction Pages
Can You Cut Ultracet (Acetaminophen; Tramadol) Tablets In Half?
Can my tramadol-APAP 37.5-325 MG tablets be cut in...Mar 24, 2023
Can You Split Lipitor (Atorvastatin) Tablets In Half?
Hello! I was told you can split Lipitor tablets in...Mar 24, 2023