Tylenol and other drugs in the analgesic family are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. They’re effective because they reduce pain by reducing inflammation in the body. To do this, NSAIDs inhibit the action of COX enzymes (as we discussed above) which reduces prostaglandin production and therefore reduces swelling and pain. Because of their ability to reduce swelling and inflammation, NSAIDs like Tylenol are often recommended for people who have recently injured themselves or are recovering from surgery. We won’t get into the specifics here, but there are some concerns about taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach. So let’s explore what you should know if you want to take Tylenol on an empty stomach.
Can You Take Tylenol On An Empty Stomach?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual. Some people can take Tylenol on an empty stomach without any problems, while others may experience upset stomach, heartburn, or other side effects. If you have any concerns, it is best to speak to a healthcare professional before taking Tylenol on an empty stomach.
What Is An Empty Stomach?
- An empty stomach is defined as no food or liquid consumed for at least four hours.
- The stomach can hold up to about one liter of food and fluid, so if you have anything more than that in your stomach, you’re not going to be able to take Tylenol on an empty stomach.
- If you do have something in your stomach, the time it takes for the drug to reach maximum effect may be affected by what you have already eaten. In other words, if you eat a large meal before taking Tylenol on an empty stomach, it might take longer for the medication to work (although if it does work at all). On the other hand, eating something like a banana or some applesauce will help break down that food so that it doesn’t sit in your digestive tract which can slow the absorption of the drug. So while there are no hard-and-fast rules about how long you should wait after eating before taking Tylenol on an empty stomach.
When And Why To Take Tylenol On An Empty Stomach
- Taking Tylenol on an empty stomach does not prevent stomach upset. That is a myth. Tylenol can be taken with or without food, but it is best to take it on an empty stomach. The reason for this is that the drug interacts with the stomach lining and will cause irritation or ulcers if taken with food because of the digestive acid present in our food.
- Tylenol is not absorbed by the body when taken on an empty stomach and therefore does not have any effect on blood pressure, pain levels, or other vital signs. If you take your medication at a time when you are hungry, you may experience nausea and vomiting due to the fact that you will have less acid in your stomach when taking your medication than if you had taken it on an empty stomach.
- Eating before taking Tylenol reduces its effectiveness and increases the risk of adverse reactions like nausea and diarrhea. This is because when we eat before taking NSAIDs we stimulate our digestive systems which change how the drug gets into our system and therefore affects how much of it gets absorbed into our bloodstream.
- Taking NSAIDs after eating can lead to ulcers. This occurs because NSAIDs change how our digestive system works (by reducing gastric acid) which then causes damage to our gastric lining. Ulcers are very painful so we recommend avoiding them by taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach whenever possible!
The Dangers Of Taking Tylenol On An Empty Stomach
Tylenol can cause stomach ulcers.
You’ll probably already know that NSAIDs like Tylenol can cause stomach ulcers. In fact, they’re the most common type of ulcer. So if you take Tylenol on an empty stomach, you may be more likely to get a stomach ulcer than someone who doesn’t take it on an empty stomach.
Tylenol can cause kidney damage.
NSAIDs like Tylenol have also known to damage the kidneys because they reduce blood flow in the kidneys and decrease their ability to filter toxins from the bloodstream. This can lead to kidney damage and failure, which is why doctors typically recommend taking Tylenol with a full glass of water and other fluids for at least 8 hours after taking it (more about this later). Just remember that you shouldn’t take Tylenol on an empty stomach if you have kidney problems or other medical conditions that affect your kidneys or liver (like diabetes).
Taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach makes them less effective in reducing pain and swelling.
You may not realize this when you take Tylenol on an empty stomach, but NSAIDs work best when taken with food and/or with a full glass of water (they also work better when taken with food than when taken without food). If you skip either one, then your body won’t be able to absorb the NSAIDs as well, so you may experience less pain and less swelling.
Taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach can cause ulcers in your esophagus.
This is another common side effect of taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach. If you take Tylenol on an empty stomach and then eat a meal, your body will absorb the Tylenol more quickly than it would if you had taken it with food (which is why doctors recommend taking Tylenol with food). The increased absorption of the drug can irritate your esophagus, which can lead to ulcers in your esophagus (also called GERD).
Taking NSAIDs on an empty stomach can lead to kidney damage.
Another potential side effect of taking Tylenol on an empty stomach is that it may damage your kidneys by reducing blood flow in the kidneys and decreasing their ability to filter toxins from the bloodstream (we already mentioned that this is a potential side effect of NSAIDs). If you take Tylenol without eating something first or if you skip a full glass of water, then your body may not be able to fully remove the drug from your body as quickly as it could if you had taken it with food or with a full glass of water. This means that there’s more chance that any drugs remaining in your body will remain in your system long after they’ve been taken.
Is It Safe To Take Advil On An Empty Stomach?
- An empty stomach is the best way to take Tylenol because it allows the drug to work fastest.
- If you take Advil on an empty stomach, you may actually experience a more powerful reaction than if you take it with food or on an empty stomach.
- The lesser pain experienced with Advil when taken on an empty stomach can be a good thing if you’re trying to get your body back into shape after surgery or injury, but it can also be dangerous if the pain is too great for you to handle.
- If you have asthma, taking Advil on an empty stomach may make your asthma worse because of the way that NSAIDs affect COX enzymes in your body. For more information about this topic and how NSAIDs affect people with asthma, check out our post about taking ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for asthma attacks.
- Because of their ability to reduce pain and inflammation, some doctors recommend taking Tylenol or ibuprofen before physical activity (like running) because they can help prevent muscle soreness or cramping by reducing inflammation in muscles and tissues while they’re working out.
Tylenol and other NSAIDs like Advil can be very useful pain relievers, but only if you take them correctly. Taking Tylenol on an empty stomach has the potential to cause adverse effects. This is why it’s important to only take Tylenol on an empty stomach if you absolutely need to. Taking Tylenol on an empty stomach can lead to an increase in the toxic compound “hydrocinnamic acid” and gastrointestinal bleeding. It can also cause nausea, heartburn, reduced nutrient absorption, and an increased risk of ulcers.