Can You Take Sudafed And Tylenol

Can you take sudafed and tylenol?

Sudafed and Tylenol are 2 OTC cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine and acetaminophen as their active ingredients respectively. Most cold OTC medicines when taken along with other cold medicines could cause a drug interaction which could either affect the way one drug works or increases your risk of having side effects.

The active ingredients in drugs could contribute to possible drug interactions. When both drugs have the same active ingredients and perform the same function or when the quantity of the active ingredients in each drug when combined is above the daily recommended dose, there could be a drug-drug interaction.

Drug interactions are most likely to happen with OTC medications since they can be taken with or without a doctor’s prescription, however, it’ll be best and safe to know what drugs interact when taken together, to minimize risk and also achieve effective results from your medication.

That brings us to the question “can you take Sudafed and Tylenol together? Will there be a drug-drug interaction if you take both drugs together?” To answer these questions, we have reviewed the uses, mechanism of action, possible drug interactions, and side effects of both Sudafed and Tylenol.


Sudafed is made with a nasal decongestant called pseudoephedrine, although other forms are made with phenylephrine, they have a different brand name called Sudafed PE. Sudafed is used to temporarily relieve nasal congestion, sinus congestion, and pressure caused by the common cold, hay fever, or upper respiratory allergies.

It will relieve symptoms of these diseases, but will not treat the disease itself or speed up recovery. Sudafed is classified as a nasal decongestant medication. It is taken orally and exists in tablet, caplet, and liquid forms for children.


The active ingredient in Sudafed, pseudoephedrine, helps relieve nasal congestion by making the blood vessels in your nasal passages narrower to decrease swelling and congestion, thereby, allowing your sinuses to drain, so your nasal passages are more open and you can breathe more easily.


Sudafed may interacts with certain medications and stimulants, so before using it along with other medications, you should check the labels on all your medicines and know if they contain similar ingredients or simply confirm from your doctor or pharmacist if there would be an interaction between Sudafed and a medication you’re currently on or a new medication.

A total of 154 drugs are said to interact with Sudafed, such as:

  • Rasagiline
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Selegiline
  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Asthma medicines
  • Antidepressant
  • Other decongestant


Sudafed causes some mild side effects that will go away on their own when your body has adjusted fully to the medication, but if they don’t go away, call your doctor.

Common side effects of Sudafed include:

  • Cause
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness

On rare occasions, you may experience some serious side effects and when you do, stop taking the medication and inform your doctor about the side effects right away.

Serious side effects such as:

  • Pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • Mood changes
  • Hallucination
  • Psychosis
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • High blood pressure
Can You Take Sudafed And Tylenol
Can You Take Sudafed And Tylenol


Tylenol is an analgesic and an antipyretic, that is it is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. It contains acetaminophen as its active ingredient and is used to treat or reduce mild to moderate symptoms of the common cold such as headache and fever.

It may also be used to relieve pain from arthritis, menstrual cramp, sore throat, muscle aches, toothaches, backaches, and sciatica. Tylenol may be taken alone or along with other medications, as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.


Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory drug, so unlike Sudafed which reduces swelling, it does not help to reduce swelling or inflammation. Instead, it works to relieve pain and reduce fever by blocking the area of the brain that produces the chemical that triggers pain, hence, it changes the way your body perceives pain and so doing cools your body.


A total of 106 drugs are known to interact with Tylenol and although they’re often mild interactions, you should confirm from your doctor or pharmacist before taking Tylenol with other medications.

Moderate interactions can occur between Tylenol and:

  • Warfarin
  • Isoniazid
  • Busulfan
  • Tetracaine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lego ketoconazole

Tylenol may also interfere with results for some medical laboratory tests, possibly making them false. Let your doctor or lab personnel know you use the drug before taking any test.


Tylenol may cause mild to serious side effects although serious side effects are often due to an allergic reaction to the drug, which is rare. Stop the medication and let your doctor know if you experience these serious side effects:

  • Rashes
  • Itching and swelling, usually on the face, tongue, and throat
  • Severe dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing

On the other hand, some of the mild side effects caused by Tylenol include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Dark-coloration of urine
  • Itching
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Skin and eyes yellowing (jaundice).

These effects are supposed to go away on their own, but if they don’t, or seem to worsen, let your doctor know on time.


It’s ok to take or combine different medications, so long as they work differently. Sudafed is a nasal decongestant and Tylenol is a pain reliever and fever reducer. It is clear they both don’t do the same things in the body, plus, they both have different active ingredients, so there is no risk of an overdose of a particular active ingredient. Hence, yes, Sudafed and Tylenol can be taken together, as there is no known drug-drug interaction between them.


There are so many limitations when it comes to pregnancy, even your OTC medicines choices are extremely limited. So even when your nose is running, your sinuses are clogged and you suffer a headache or any pain at all, you must be careful of your choice of medication because most OTC medications can cause harm to both you and your baby.

However, doctors have reviewed OTC medications and have drawn a list of safe OTC medicines that can be used during pregnancy. Fortunately, Tylenol is a safe cough and sore throat remedy during pregnancy, and Sudafed is a safe allergy remedy but should only be used in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, in women without gestational hypertension.


Ibuprofen is categorized under the group of drugs known as Advil. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen is used in treating pain, fever, and inflammation caused by many conditions such as headaches, toothaches, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramp, or minor injury.

When taking ibuprofen, it is advised that it should not be taken with other pain relievers or fever reducers, however, on some occasions, your doctor may prescribe the drug along with Tylenol, which is another pain reliever and fever reducer. This is ok, so long as when both drugs are combined, the amount of acetaminophen taken is not more than what is recommended in 24 hours or with each dose.

Similarly, Sudafed, a nasal decongestant can be taken along with ibuprofen for that stuffy nose, sinus congestion, cough, pain, and fever caused by the common cold. Therefore, you can take Sudafed, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen together, however, bear in mind that Ibuprofen poses more risk of side effects and when taken with Sudafed can cause serious side effects such as;

  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Hives
  • Burning eyes
  • Swelling in the face
  • Blistering and peeling of the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden numbness
  • Stroke
  • Slurred speech
  • Swelling of legs

Before your doctor approves that you use Sudafed, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen together or any drug, remember they must have judged from your medical history and if you have any allergies to know if the drug will provide more benefits than the risk it may cause. Therefore, consult your doctor before combining any drugs and let them know of any underlying medical condition, or any allergies you may have.


Not all OTC medicines are safe to be combined as that can affect drug potency or increase the chances of having side effects. Although OTC medicines can be taken with or without a doctor’s prescription, it’ll be safer to consult your doctor or ask your pharmacist about any possible adverse effects of combining drugs.

Can you take Sudafed and Tylenol?

Yes. Sudafed is a nasal decongestant with pseudoephedrine as its active ingredient, while Tylenol is an analgesic and an antipyretic with acetaminophen as its active ingredient. Since they both don’t have the same active ingredient and are not used to treat the same things, there is no known drug-drug interaction between them so they’re a safe combination medication.

You could also combine Sudafed, and Tylenol with ibuprofen, even though ibuprofen does the same thing as Tylenol, so long as the recommended daily dose of acetaminophen is not exceeded. However, bear in mind that a combination of ibuprofen and Sudafed may result in serious side effects. Overall, always seek your doctors’ consent before taking any medication.

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