It is very common for doctors to prescribe Tylenol 3 for patients who are experiencing pain. This may include temporary conditions or long-term discomfort. As the name implies, Tylenol 3 is a stronger version of the generic Tylenol drug that you can purchase over the counter. Stronger versions require a prescription due to the high codeine content. Dosage and use varies, so your doctor will provide specific instructions for your condition.
Components and Indications
Tylenol 3 consists of 300 mg acetaminophen and 30 mg codeine phosphate. The American version of the drug does not contain any caffeine, but the Canadian version has 15 mg of caffeine. The drug also contains trace amounts of sulfites in both versions. It should be noted that the generic form of Tylenol 3 contains acetaminophen hydrocodone, a derivative of codeine. This indicates that this drug may function differently than the name brand drug, so read the directions and indications on the package carefully prior to use.
Consistent use of products containing high codeine contents can create dependency. This can lead to very dangerous withdrawal and side effects, including the decreased effectiveness of the medication. If you plan on starting a Tylenol regimen, work closely with your doctor and keep your condition monitored to avoid dependency. Your dosage will also need to be monitored to ensure that you are not taking more than needed. It has been shown that doses of Tylenol 3 over 60 mg prolong analgesia rather than relieving the pain it was prescribed for.
Dosage and Use
Tylenol 3 is used to treat mild to moderate pain from headaches, dental issues, menstruation, accidents, or operations. Some doctors will prescribe this medication for alternate uses, such as fever, so be sure to discuss the reasoning behind your prescription. Since the dosage for this medication is quite strong, you should not start or stop taking Tylenol 3 without the supervision of your doctor. Do not share your pills with others, even if they have similar symptoms to you. This could lead to complications or allergic reactions.
The typical dose for this medication is one or two tablets every four hours. This will be adjusted based on the level of pain and the size of the person receiving the prescription. Children under 12 years of age should not take Tylenol 3. Patients should not take more than 12 tablets in 24 hours. If you are on a regular Tylenol regimen and you miss a dose, you should not double your next dose to make up for the missed one. Instead, contact your doctor for advice on adjusting your prescription. Tylenol 3 is developed in many different forms, so you should double check the instructions before you begin taking your pills.
The most common side effects of Tylenol 3 are lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea. In most cases, these effects can be minimalized or alleviated if the patient lies down and rests. If you will be taking Tylenol 3 for a few days, you may notice that the side effects become less severe throughout your prescription. If your symptoms make it hard to breathe or if you fear that you might lose consciousness, contact emergency services.
Less common side effects include euphoria, constipation, abdominal pain, respiratory depression, rash, or agranulocytosis. These conditions are more common when you take Tylenol 3 in large doses. If you start developing any of these symptoms, call your doctor to determine if your dosage needs to be adjusted. If at any time your symptoms are making it impossible for you to function or appear to be life threatening, call your doctor immediately. Contact emergency services if your symptoms appear to be life-threatening.
Because Tylenol 3 is a painkiller, there is a risk of developing psychological dependence on it. This can lead to a tolerance building up against the effects of the medication. Do not increase your dosage if it appears as though it is no longer working. Instead, call your doctor to determine how your condition should be treated. You may also notice symptoms of withdrawal when your prescription ends. This is more common in those who suffer from drug dependency issues. Talk this risk over with your doctor and come up with a good step-down program.
If you are allergic to codeine or acetaminophen you should not take this medication. Those who have a serious reaction to caffeine should also avoid Tylenol 3. If you notice any kind of reaction to the medication, including an allergy, stop taking the pills immediately and inform your doctor. If you have kidney or liver disease, you will need to talk with your doctor about whether or not it is safe to take Tylenol 3. Your body may have difficulties clearing the mediation from your system. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Tylenol 3. Infants can have a serious reaction to the medication that could be fatal in large doses.
Those who regularly consume 3 alcoholic beverages or more each day should not take Tylenol 3. Avoid drinking alcohol while the medication is in your system to avoid causing damage to your liver. Tylenol 3 works very quickly so those with addiction issues may be advised to take care with their dosing. It is common for those who suffer from a painkiller dependency to take their doses very quickly, which can lead to a fatal overdose. Heart or liver issues can also develop for those taking Tylenol 3 recreationally.