Is Tylenol Safe To Take With Antibiotics?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Tylenol is safe to take with antibiotics.

Question

Good evening. Can I use Tylenol with antibiotics?

Asked by Anita On Jul 14, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jul 19, 2022
Last updated Jul 19, 2022

Key points

  • Tylenol (acetaminophen) is safe to use with most antibiotics.
  • There are a few less commonly used antibiotics where Tylenol may not represent the best option. These antibiotics include dapsone and isoniazid.

Answer

Hi there and thanks for contacting us!

This is a really broad question, as there are a large number of different antibiotics that may be prescribed to someone. There are certainly some antibiotics where Tylenol (acetaminophen) may not be the best option as a pain-reliever due to a potential interaction.

Having said that, Tylenol is generally safe with most antibiotics. I'll get into specific precautions in the next section, but by and large, Tylenol is a pain-reliever that can be used with your most commonly prescribed antibiotics.

What Antibiotics Are Safe With Tylenol?

As mentioned, Tylenol is perfectly safe to combine with most antibiotics. This includes:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Augmentin (amoxicillin; clavulanic acid)
  • Penicillin
  • Clindamycin
  • Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim)
  • Keflex (cephalexin)
  • Clarithromycin
  • Ampicillin
  • Erythromycin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Azithromycin

None of the antibiotics above are known to interact with Tylenol. In fact, Tylenol is often recommended with these antibiotics to help relieve the pain and fever that can be caused by bacterial infections. 

Antibiotic - Tylenol Interactions

While most antibiotics are safe with Tylenol, there are some ones where it may not be the first option, or there is a specific precaution to take into consideration. These antibiotics tend to be less commonly used, but are prescribed under certain circumstances. These antibiotics include:

  • Isoniazid
  • Dapsone
  • Penicillin G
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin

The above antibiotics are used for very specific reasons and are not used for your more typical conditions caused by bacterial infections, like bronchitis, sinus infections, pneumonia, etc...

Isoniazid, for example, is an antibiotic used for tuberculosis. When combined with Tylenol, there is an increased risk of liver toxicity. Isoniazid on its own can cause problems with the liver, and Tylenol only increases this risk.

Dapsone, for another example, is an antibiotic that is less commonly used. When combined with Tylenol, there is an increased risk of a condition known as methemoglobinemia (a disorder in which too little oxygen is delivered to the cells).

If you are taking any of the above antibiotics, you should speak to your doctor first before combining them with Tylenol.

Final Words

Thanks again for your question.

The bottom line here is that the vast majority of antibiotics are safe with Tylenol, but there are a few outliers.

If you have any concerns or want more information on what I've talked about here, please feel free to reach back out!

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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