What Is in Tylenol PM?


Tylenol PM is a pain reliever that also acts as a sleep aid. It can help you fall asleep when pain or headache is making it difficult to sleep. Tylenol PM is not a sleeping pill. It is used for temporary relief of pain that is accompanied by sleeplessness.


The main ingredient in Tylenol PM is acetaminophen, an analgesic. Acetaminophen relieves pain, helps headaches and reduces fever. The other ingredient in Tylenol PM is Diphenhydramine HCl, an antihistamine. Though its main purpose is to treat symptoms of allergies, its side effect is drowsiness.


There are a number of different options on how to take Tylenol PM. It is available in caplets, geltabs (regular and rapid release) and vanilla liquid. All formats of Tylenol PM are the same strength. Each pill contains 500 mg of acetaminophen and 25 mg of diphenhydramine HCL. The acetaminophen is equal to that in an Extra Strength Tylenol and the diphenhydramine HCL is the same amount you would find in a tablet of adult strength Benadryl.


Tylenol PM is a brand name, owned by McNEIL-PPC. The ingredients in Tylenol PM, acetaminophen and diphenhydramine HCL, are sold generically under many brands. They can be purchased together in similar “PM” products, or separately as a pain reliever and allergy reducer.


Tylenol PM is not meant for long-term use. It is for occasional sleep problems that occur with pain. If pain or insomnia persists beyond two weeks of usage, see your doctor for alternate medication. Because diphenhydramine HCL is an antihistamine and not a sleeping pill, it may not cause drowsiness for everyone.


Both acetaminophen and diphenhydramine HCL have side effects that could worsen with extended use. Excess use of acetaminophen has been linked to liver damage so if it is taken regularly a health professional should be advised of its use to check liver functions. Diphenhydramine HCL should be used with caution in those with breathing problems, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. It is also not recommended for those with glaucoma or people who have difficulty urinating from an enlarged prostate.

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