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Tylenol (paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen) is a popular American brand of pain reliever and fever reducer, sold by Johnson & Johnson. It is extremely popular because it is available without prescription and it is effective with few side effects, but overdoses of Tylenol are serious and can be fatal. In heavy drinkers, regular use of acetaminophen increases liver damage from alcohol. Unlike NSAIDs, paracetamol is not particularly effective against pain from inflammatory disorders.

Tylenol was introduced in 1955 by J&J subsidiary McNeil Consumer Products Co. as one of the first alternatives to Aspirin, which at that time was being shown to have some negative health effects. It was originally marketed mainly towards children, but soon came to dominate the North American pain-killer market. There is a wide array of different varieties of Tylenol available today including extra-strength, children's doses, longer-lasting, and sleep aiding (as a combination with a sedative antihistamine). In 2005, Tylenol Ultra was introduced, containing 500mg of acetaminophen, the same dosage as Extra Strength Tylenol, but also including 65mg of caffeine. This is due to caffeine's vasoconstricting effects, which has been shown to be an effective migraine treatment.

The patent on paracetamol has expired, and the continued success of Tylenol brand preparations is largely due to marketing, the backing of Johnson & Johnson, and new patented delivery mechanisms such as quick-release and extended-release forms of the medication.
Tylenol Drug

On September 29, 1982, the Tylenol scare began when the first of seven individuals died in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois, after ingesting Extra Strength Tylenol that contained cyanide. While the crime was never solved and Tylenol sales temporarily collapsed, the brand was rebuilt and recovered in only a few years. The scare led to the introduction of tamper-proof packaging for medicines.

Tylenol remains a top seller, controlling about 35% of the pain killer market in North America.

For many years, the spokeswoman for Tylenol brand pain reliever was Falcon Crest actress Susan Sullivan.

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