Can I take Tylenol and a daily aspirin at the same time?

Consumer Reports News: May 30, 2013 08:08 AM

Yes. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic) is actually a better choice than Advil, Motrin, or related drugs for people who take a daily aspirin but need relief for minor aches and pains.

While a daily low-dose aspirin can slash the risk of heart attacks and strokes in those with an elevated risk, it can also cause dangerous bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Drugs called NSAIDs, which include ibuprofen (Advil and generics) and naproxen (Aleve and generics), can magnify that risk. (Use our free calculator to estimate your risk of having a heart attack). Also, ibuprofen might interfere with aspirin's ability to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Still, you should use acetaminophen with caution. It can damage the liver, which is a risk especially for people with cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis, heavy drinkers, and seniors. No one should take more than the maximum daily amount--4,000 mg per day, or the equivalent of eight extra-strength 500 mg capsules. And watch out for hidden acetaminophen. It's an ingredient in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter drugs, so it's easy to take more than you realize.

For more about pain relievers, check out our free Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs report on NSAIDs.

Steve Mitchell

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