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.


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


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 their drug-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

Two Pills Title

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.

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.


The main difference between Extra Strength Tylenol and Tylenol Arthritis is the amount of acetaminophen they contain. Extra Strength Tylenol contains 500mg of acetaminophen while Tylenol Arthritis contains 650mg.

  1. American College of Rheumatology 2012 Recommendations for the Use of Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapies in Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee. ACR
  2. ClinicalKey: Acetaminophen Monograph. ClinicalKey
  3. Influenza (Flu). Lung.org

About the Pharmacist

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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 numerous 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 inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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