Compare Tylenol vs. Percocet

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

Tylenol Regular Strength
(acetaminophen)

Percocet
(oxycodone / acetaminophen)

Relieves pain and fever. Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) effectively reduces fever and relieves pain, 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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.01Tylenol
Reviews for Tylenol
77%
of people (All ages) say Tylenol is worth it
37%
say it works well
3%
say it's a big hassle
1002 reviews
Have you used Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Percocet
70%
+7% better vs. Tylenol
49%
-12% worse vs. Tylenol
15%
+12% better vs. Tylenol
1399 reviews
Have you used Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TylenolPercocet

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

More about Tylenol side effects »

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

More about Percocet side effects »
How it works
TylenolPercocet
Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) is an analgesic. It relieves pain and lowers fever by stopping the production of certain chemicals in the brain that cause both pain and fever.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
TylenolPercocet
Over-the-counterPrescription only
Available as
TylenolPercocet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
TylenolPercocet
Risk factors for serious side effects
TylenolPercocet
  • Medication administering errors
  • Injection formulation
  • Exceeding the recommended maximum daily limits
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
Detailed Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
TylenolPercocet
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) can damage your liver.
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers and people with liver problems should avoid using Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) since it can cause serious liver damage.
  • Avoid alcohol.
Food
TylenolPercocet
No food related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
TylenolPercocet
  • Taking too much acetaminophen causes liver damage that can be permanent and life-threatening. Signs of liver problems may include dark urine, feeling tired, upset stomach or stomach pain, or yellow skin or eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Avoid drinking alcohol when taking Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen). Avoid using Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) if you have existing liver problems since it can cause further damage.
  • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is also safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you need to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen you are taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold combination medicines.
  • The acetaminophen component in Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can hurt your liver. Using more than 4000 mg of the acetaminophen (or 12 tablets of Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can cause serious harm to your liver that may make you need a liver transplant and can be life-threatening. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes, and avoid other medicines that have acetaminophen when using Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen).
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
Pain
TylenolPercocet
  • Works well to relieve pain and fevers.
  • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain.
  • Pain relief lasts 4-6 hours.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
  • 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.
  • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
Sleep
TylenolPercocet
No sleep related info.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
Upsides and benefits
TylenolPercocet
  • 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 and Advil.
  • Doesn't cause kidney damage and is also safe to use if you have heart problems or if you're pregnant.
  • Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) has been used 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
TylenolPercocet
  • Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) doesn't treat some kinds of pain as well as other medications like Advil.
  • 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 you are taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold combination medicines.
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers and people with liver problems should avoid using 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
TylenolPercocet
  • Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) starts working within one hour.
  • Taking too much of Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen) can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package insert.
  • Acetaminophen is found in many over-the-counter and prescription products. Make sure the total amount of acetaminophen you take does not exceed 3,000 mg per day and check with your pharmacist to make sure you're not taking too much.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take.
  • 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
Have you used Tylenol Regular Strength (acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PercocetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it