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I recently had a root canal and my dentist prescribed Tylenol® No. 3 for the pain. I'm using about 3 tablets per day. My dentist told me if I'm still feeling some pain that I could take extra strength Tylenol® together with Tylenol® No. 3. Is this OK to do?
's Response

When it comes to taking your medication(s), you should always follow the directions given to you by the prescriber, in this case your dentist. Both Tylenol® No. 3 and extra strength Tylenol® contain the pain medication acetaminophen. Each Tylenol® No. 3 tablet contains 300 mg of acetaminophen, and each extra strength Tylenol® tablet contains 500 mg of acetaminophen. The maximum allowable dose of acetaminophen is 4,000 mg or 4 g per day. If you are taking three Tylenol® No. 3 tablets per day, that's 900 mg of acetaminophen per day. Which means you can take up to an additional 3,100 mg of acetaminophen or about 6 extra strength Tylenol® tablets before you reach the maximum daily dose.

Too much acetaminophen can cause kidney and liver problems. If you're taking multiple medications containing acetaminophen it's important to keep track of your total daily intake of acetaminophen from all medications and make sure you're not taking more than the maximum allowable daily dose - it can add up quicker than you think. Do not hesitate to talk to your pharmacist if you're not sure how much acetaminophen is contained in one of the medications you're taking. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you've taken too much acetaminophen.


All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

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