Compare Tylenol vs. Tramadol

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

Tylenol Regular Strength
(Acetaminophen)

Ultram
(Tramadol)

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. Ultram (Tramadol) works well to treat severe pain and mood changes. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.019019019019019Tylenol
Reviews for Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
77%
of people say Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) is worth it
37%
say it works well
3%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Ultram (Tramadol)
61%
16% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
39%
+2% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
16%
13% vs. Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen)
Side effects
TylenolTramadol

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

FDA side effect reports for Tylenol »
  • Dizziness (not vertigo) 21%
  • Flushing 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Positional low blood pressure 3%
More Tramadol side effects »
How it works
TylenolTramadol
Tylenol Regular Strength (Acetaminophen) reduces fever and relieves pain, but doesn't lower inflammation and swelling.Ultram (Tramadol) is an atypical opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.
Type of medication
TylenolTramadol
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Over-the-counter
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
TylenolTramadol
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Gelcap
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
TylenolTramadol
Risk factors for serious side effects
TylenolTramadol
  • 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 »
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain infections
  • Suicidal or at risk
  • Taking other medications that affect serotonin
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of allergic reactions to codeine or other opioid pain relievers
  • Phenylalanine sensitivity
  • Stopping Ultram (Tramadol) suddenly
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    Detailed Ultram (Tramadol) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    TylenolTramadol
    NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

    The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • 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.
    • Serious side effects may include drug abuse, dependence, slowed breathing rate (respiratory depression), and death. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes or take with alcohol, illegal drugs, or other opioid pain relievers.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.
    • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid 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.
    • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    TylenolTramadol
    • 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.
    • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
    • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
    • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
    • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
    Downsides and risks
    TylenolTramadol
    • 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.
    • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
    • Like other opioid pain relievers, Tramadol has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death. It should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
    • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed pain relief.
    • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (Tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
    • To get Ultram (Tramadol) in the pharmacy, you'll need to bring in a paper prescription directly from your doctor.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    TylenolTramadol
    • 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.
    • Starts working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
    • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
    • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
    • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
    Learn more
    More about TylenolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert