Acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tylenol) and alcohol: timing for safety

You are not a doctor, or you are not *my *doctor, and getting medical advice on the internet is stupid, so I’m not, and giving it is stupider, so you’re not. But maybe you can offer a cite or two.

I know ingesting alcohol and acetaminophen (a.k.a. paracetamol, well known brand name Tylenol) together is dangerous – bad for your liver. How long should pass between using one before using the other, to be safe? Hours, days, weeks?

The standard line is “Ask a doctor before taking acetaminophen if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day.” This is not much help for someone who doesn’t drink daily, which I would imagine is most people.

I’d also like to know the general guidelines for alcohol and acetaminophen and timing. I read somewhere that your liver is most vulnerable the next morning but millions of people presumably take acetaminophen for hangovers so that makes me skeptical.

I’m always paranoid about this issue which leads me to suffer possibly needlessly.

I’m on my phone, so I’ll have to make this short. The problem with acetaminophen and alcohol is that they both compete for the same enzymes to metabolize the two compounds into their Sacramento byproducts. The worst time to take acetaminophen is the day after drinking when you have a headache. But once the alcohol is fully metabolized, it’s safe to take again. I would tell someone in my pharmacy 24 hours after your last drink. Oh, and if you drink regularly don’t exceeds 2 grams a day.

“compounds into their Sacramento byproducts”? I figure this is because of the phone…right?

I thought Sacramento byproducts was what Californians called their legislators. Ba-dum-bing.

Autocomplete can be annoying, especially on a smartphone. It’s a pain in the ass to go back.

  1. Thanks!

  2. How long after alcohol effects are externally observable is it fully metabolized? Are you saying “24 hours to be safe” or is your liver really still busy metabolizing 24 hours after a drink?

  3. Reversed: How long after taking acetaminophen is it before it’s safe to have a drink?