Difference Between Tylenol Arthritis And Tylenol Extra Strength

There are a variety of differences between Tylenol Extra Strength and Tylenol Arthritis, notably a difference in strength and duration of action.

Question

What is the difference between Tylenol 500 and 650 mg? Which is extra strength?

Asked by Dee On Nov 13, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Nov 13, 2018
Tylenol Title

Overview

There are a number of differences between Tylenol Extra Strength and Tylenol Arthritis, the main one being the milligram strength of the active ingredient (acetaminophen).


Tylenol Extra Strength contains:

  • 500 mg Acetaminophen


Tylenol Arthritis contains:

  • 650 mg Acetaminophen


Additionally, Tylenol Arthritis is an extended-release formulation, while Tylenol Extra Strength is immediate-release. Due to the differences in release mechanism, the products are recommended to be dosed as follows:

  • Tylenol Arthritis: 1-2 tablets every 8 hours.
  • Tylenol Extra Strength: 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours.


Tylenol Arthritis is sometimes referred to as 'Tylenol 8-Hour', as that is the approximate duration of action. Tylenol Extra Strength, being an immediate release product, generally lasts around 4 to 6 hours per dose.


The maximum daily dose of acetaminophen is 4,000 mg per day. This equates to:

  • 8 tablets of Extra Strength Tylenol
  • 6 tablets of Tylenol Arthritis


Summary Of Differences

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To summarize the differences between Tylenol Extra Strength and Tylenol Arthritis:

  • Tylenol Arthritis (i.e. Tylenol 8-Hour) contains 650 mg acetaminophen. Tylenol Extra Strength contains 500 mg acetaminophen.
  • Tylenol Arthritis is an extended-release formulation, with a duration of action of 8 hours. Tylenol Extra Strength is an immediate-release formulation, and lasts 4-6 hours per dose.
  • The maximum daily dose of Tylenol Arthritis is 6 tablets. The maximum daily dose of Tylenol Extra Strength is 8 tablets.


About Tylenol

Acetaminophen (APAP) is an analgesic and anti-pyretic (i.e. fever reducer). Unlike NSAIDs, another class of over the counter analgesics (e.g. ibuprofen), acetaminophen has no anti-inflammatory activity or effect on platelet function.


Acetaminophen is the preferred pain reliever for individuals where aspirin or NSAIDs is contraindicated.


Additionally, acetaminophen has been recommended by the American Lung Association as the first line treatment for aches and pains associated with the flu and by the American College of Rheumatology as first-line therapy for osteoarthritis (1, 2).


While generally considered to be safe and effective, unintentional or intentional misuse of acetaminophen is the number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States (3).


More information about acetaminophen can be found here:

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com; Office: 716-389-3076

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