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Is Tylenol (acetaminophen) an anti-inflammatory drug?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on April 4, 2023.

Official answer


No, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is not an anti-inflammatory. Tylenol is classified as a painkiller for mild to moderate pain and fever. There is a theory that acetaminophen may inhibit COX enzymes, similar to the way NSAIDs work, but without the anti-inflammatory effect. Tylenol typically has a lower effect on pain due to inflammation than NSAIDs.

Acetaminophen is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fevers.

Acetaminophen is usually the pain reliever of choice for patients who take a blood thinner. However, if you take a blood thinner, be sure to check with your health care provider before taking acetaminophen as prolonged or high doses of acetaminophen may cause bleeding. Report any signs of bleeding to your doctor if you take a blood thinner.

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