Tylenol vs. Percocet

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Tylenol Regular Strength

(Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)

Relieves pain and fever. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain well, but it doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.Treats moderate to severe pain. Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is the strongest prescription combination pain medicine for as needed pain relief, but make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.
How it works
Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain, but doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Oxycodone is an opioid (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception. Acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever and fever reducer.
Type of medication
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Gelcap
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
of people say Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
-8% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
+12% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
-12% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Tylenol side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tylenol »

The Percocet FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Percocet side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Long-term use
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use of opioids in mother
  • Breastfeeding while taking Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
  • Children age 18 and younger
  • Taking more than prescribed dose
  • Mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact with Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Circulation problems
    Detailed Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) can damage your liver.
    • Heavy alcohol drinkers shouldn't use Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) since it can cause serious liver damage.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Even 1 dose of an extended-release tablet can be too much for a child so store out of reach from children. In adults, raising the dose too quickly, high doses or mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact causes overdose and death. If you suspect a child has taken Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen), or an adult has taken too much, watch them for decreased activity, extreme tiredness small pupils, and lips and fingers turning blue from low oxygen. Call 911 or go to a hospital immediately. Doctors can give a medicine that reverses the effects of Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen).
    No specific food-related info.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    Kidneys and liver
    • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.
    • Oxycodone, one of the medications in Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) passes into breast milk. Women with a history of long-term opioid use increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms in the newborn include irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor and lack of weight gain. Opioid withdrawal in infants can be a life-threatening emergency and needs immediate medical care.
    Upsides and benefits
    • Works well to relieve pain and fevers.
    • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
    • Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) causes less upset stomach, ulcers, bruising, and bleeding than other pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
    • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
    • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
    • Combination pain medicine with an opioid component (oxycodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
    • Provides quick relief for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
    • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
    • Good for as-needed, short-term use, but may be helpful to manage more long-term pain problems if used at the appropriate doses and intervals.
    • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
    • Can help you fall asleep easier.
    Downsides and risks
    • Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) doesn't treat pain as well as other medications like ibuprofen and naproxen.
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) can damage your liver.
    • To avoid hurting your liver, you need to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you are taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
    • Heavy alcohol drinkers shouldn't use Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) since it can cause serious liver damage.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
    • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Percocet if you need.
    • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
    • The non-opioid part of Percocet, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful.
    • Relies on the users to be aware of how much acetaminophen (Tylenol) they are using since it is a very common ingredient in many prescription and non-prescription pain medicines.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Starts working in one hour.
    • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
    • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Adults should never take more than 3,000 milligrams (mg) in a single day.
    • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days.
    • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
    • Starts working in 30 minutes.
    • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain.
    • Pain relief lasts 4-6 hours.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
    • Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and using laxatives can help.
    • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
    • Use it for the shortest time possible, and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
    • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
    Learn more
    More about TylenolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about PercocetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert