Tylenol PM Side Effects
Generic Name: acetaminophen / diphenhydramine
Note: This document contains side effect information about acetaminophen / diphenhydramine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Tylenol PM.
For the Consumer
Applies to acetaminophen / diphenhydramine: oral capsule, oral tablet
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For Healthcare Professionals
Nervous system side effects from diphenhydramine have been reported frequently. These have included depression with drowsiness and sedation in nearly all patients treated. Motor skills may be impaired. Dystonic reactions have been reported after single doses of diphenhydramine.[Ref]
The CNS depressant effect of diphenhydramine parallels its plasma concentrations. The plasma concentration threshold for sedation is 30 to 42 ng/mL, and to cause mental impairment is 58 to 74 ng/mL. Patients should be warned against driving while taking diphenhydramine.
Dystonic reactions have been accompanied by dizziness, mental confusion, rigidity, lip and tongue protrusion, trismus, torticollis, and swallowing difficulties and generally resolve spontaneously. Toxic encephalopathy has been reported in a child with chicken pox treated generously with topical diphenhydramine.
Cardiovascular side effects including two cases of hypotension have been reported following the administration of acetaminophen.
Two cases of hypotension have been reported following the administration of acetaminophen. Both patients experienced significant decreases in blood pressure. One of the two patients required pressor agents to maintain adequate mean arterial pressures. Neither episode was associated with symptoms of anaphylaxis. Neither patient was rechallenged after resolution of the initial episode.[Ref]
Hepatic side effects including severe and sometimes fatal dose dependent hepatitis have been reported in alcoholic patients with the use of acetaminophen. Hepatotoxicity has been increased during fasting. Several cases of hepatotoxicity from chronic acetaminophen therapy at therapeutic doses have also been reported despite a lack of risk factors for toxicity.[Ref]
Alcoholic patients may develop hepatotoxicity after even modest doses of acetaminophen. In healthy patients, approximately 15 grams of acetaminophen is necessary to deplete liver glutathione stores by 70% in a 70 kg person. However, hepatotoxicity has been reported following smaller doses. Glutathione concentrations may be repleted by the antidote N-acetylcysteine. One case report has suggested that hypothermia may also be beneficial in decreasing liver damage during overdose.
In a recent retrospective study of 306 patients admitted for acetaminophen overdose, 6.9% had severe liver injury but all recovered. None of the 306 patients died.
One study has suggested that acetaminophen may precipitate acute biliary pain and cholestasis. The mechanism of this effect may be related to inhibition of prostaglandin and alterations in the regulation of the sphincter of Oddi.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have been rare with the use of acetaminophen, except in alcoholics and after overdose. Cases of acute pancreatitis have been reported rarely with the use of acetaminophen. In clinical trials of caffeine citrate, five cases of necrotizing enterocolitis were reported among the 46 infants exposed to the caffeine citrate injection.
Acute tubular necrosis usually occurs in conjunction with liver failure, but has been observed as an isolated finding in rare cases. A possible increase in the risk of renal cell carcinoma has been associated with chronic acetaminophen use as well.
A recent case control study of patients with end-stage renal disease suggested that long term consumption of acetaminophen may significantly increase the risk of end-stage renal disease particularly in patients taking more than two pills per day.[Ref]
Renal side effects have been rare with the use of acetaminophen and have included acute tubular necrosis and interstitial nephritis. Adverse renal effects are most often observed after overdose, after chronic abuse (often with multiple analgesics), or in association with acetaminophen-related hepatotoxicity.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects, including anaphylaxis and fixed drug eruptions, have been reported rarely in association with acetaminophen use.
Most commonly, hypersensitivity to diphenhydramine has manifested itself in patients receiving systemic drug after being sensitized to it by topical application. Sensitization with systemic administration has also been reported.[Ref]
Hematologic side effects including rare cases of thrombocytopenia associated with acetaminophen have been reported. Methemoglobinemia with resulting cyanosis has also been observed in the setting of acute overdose.
Dermatologic side effects including erythematous skin rashes associated with acetaminophen have been reported, but are rare. Acetaminophen associated bullous erythema and purpura fulminans have also been reported. Acetaminophen has been associated with a risk of rare but potentially fatal serious skin reactions know as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP).[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Tylenol Extra Strength PM (acetaminophen-diphenhydramine)." Johnson and Johnson/Merck Consumer, Fort Washington, PA.
2. Richardson GS, Roehrs TA, Rosenthal L, Koshorek G, Roth T "Tolerance to daytime sedative effects of h1 antihistamines." J Clin Psychopharmacol 22 (2002): 511-5
3. Sexton JD, Pronchik DJ "Diphenhydramine induced psychosis with therapeutic doses." Am J Emerg Med 15 (1997): 548-9
4. Brown G "Acetaminophen-induced hypotension." Heart Lung 25 (1996): 137-40
5. Lee WM "Medical progress: drug-induced hepatotoxicity." N Engl J Med 333 (1995): 1118-27
6. Gursoy M, Haznedaroglu IC, Celik I, Sayinalp N, Ozcebe OI, Dundar SV "Agranulocytosis, plasmacytosis, and thrombocytosis followed by a leukemoid reaction due to acute acetaminophen toxicity." Ann Pharmacother 30 (1996): 762-5
7. Eguia L, Materson BJ "Acetaminophen-related acute renal failure without fulminant liver failure." Pharmacotherapy 17 (1997): 363-70
8. Kawada A, Hiruma M, Noguchi H, Ishibashi A "Fixed drug eruption induced by acetaminophen in a 12-year-old girl." Int J Dermatol 35 (1996): 148-9
9. Barranco P, LopezSerrano MC, MorenoAncillo A "Anaphylactic reaction due to diphenhydramine." Allergy 53 (1998): 814
10. Halevi A, BenAmitai D, Garty BZ "Toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with acetaminophen ingestion." Ann Pharmacother 34 (2000): 32-4
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.
More about Tylenol PM (acetaminophen / diphenhydramine)
- Tylenol PM Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
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- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: analgesic combinations