Tylenol is a popular brand of acetaminophen, a drug that offers relief from aches and pains. But how does Tylenol work? And why does it make you sleepy? In this article, we look into the science behind Tylenol. It’s important to know that different people react differently to drugs and supplements like Tylenol. While some people may find relief from taking it, others may experience side effects. Everyone is different; read on to know if you should avoid Tylenol or take it with caution.
Does Tylenol Make U Sleepy?
Yes, taking Tylenol can make you feel drowsy. Tylenol is a combination pain reliever and can help you feel relaxed and less stressed. These side effects can cause you to become drowsy or tired.
How Does Tylenol Work?
1. In A Nutshell
Acetaminophen is an analgesic drug that fights pain by reducing inflammation. This is done by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) that triggers inflammation in the body. By inhibiting COX, one can reduce the amount of prostaglandin E2 produced by the body. Prostaglandin E2 is a molecule secreted into the body that is involved in pain and inflammation. As stated above, Tylenol works by inhibiting COX. To understand how it does this, we will look at the structure of acetaminophen and COX enzymes first.
2. The C-H Bond
This marks acetaminophen as an alicyclic compound which means there are at least two rings joined together to form a complete molecule (Figure 2). Alicyclic compounds have at least one cycloalkane ring without hydrogen atoms attached to form this regular ring compound (R-C-R’). These compounds are less effective because they don’t act as anti-inflammatories (heroines) if you will. The compound above lacks cyclopentene rings attached to form another regular ring. So when it comes to alicyclic; they are less potent or less potent than sterols such as cholesterol and sex hormones for example.
3. As You Can See
Acetaminophen has a double bond linking two benzene rings to each other. Benzene rings are found in steroids and sterols like cholesterol, which we will discuss later on. In many ways, the C-H bond is similar to the double bond of a saturated fatty acid chain but with different resonance structures. Check out this video by David DeComo (sp?) to learn more about why alicyclic act as anti-inflammatories:
4. The C=O Bond:
This bond links one carbon (C) molecule with an oxygen atom (O), which forms a double-bonded hydrocarbon compound called a cyclic olefin. There are two types of olefins; those that have an even number of C-O bonds and those that have an odd number of C-O bonds (Figure 3). The most commonly known example of even numbers is the ethylene glycol molecule below which is another molecule without any proline or hydroxyproline in its structure.
6. The Carbon Atom On The Left Has An Even Number Of Bonds In The Heterocycle (5 C).
This type of compound is called a five-carbon chain (5C) and is also known as ethylene, as mentioned above. On the right, it has an odd number of bonds giving it a six-carbon chain (6C). You can see in this structure that carbon atoms 6 and 7 have a double bond between them to make another ring.
Why Does Tylenol Make You Sleepy?
1. It Makes You Sleepy:
Most people start to feel tired after they take Tylenol. Why is this? A reasonable guess might be that Tylenol slows down brain function.
2. Acetaminophen Hormones:
When you take a pain reliever like Tylenol, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen it may cause the production of certain hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by the hypothalamus which has two effects; it reduces inflammation and increases blood sugar levels. This means that if you take too much Tylenol you will reduce inflammation as well as up your blood sugar level which will lead to fatigue and sleepiness later on in the day and night afterward.
The acetaminophen molecule is the one that makes you sleepy, not the one on the right.
4. It Makes You Sleepy:
Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen (an NSAID) both make you sleepy because they slow down your central nervous system. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory which means that it works as an opioid receptor antagonist (which is a type of opioid receptor agonist) which essentially has the same effects as morphine. Since there are fewer receptors for acetaminophen, it will make you sleepy because there are fewer neurotransmitters available to send messages to your brain to slow down its functioning.
Metabolism is the body’s method of breaking down food, especially in the process of digestion. It involves heat and a lot of other chemical reactions.
6. Reduces The Risk Of Birth Defects:
When you take folic acid before or during pregnancy you can greatly reduce your chance of birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs are serious congenital diseases that can be detected in utero by ultrasound. Spina bifida is a congenital disorder in which part or all of the spinal column does not close properly, leading to the complete or partial removal of one or more vertebral segments. A neural tube defect (NTD) is too early a fusion between different parts of the neural tube and which leads to abnormal development in the brain and spinal cord (incomplete closure). Protects against Cytokines: Cytokines are important signaling molecules that can cause inflammation and can transform into other inflammation-causing compounds such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL1β). Folic acid helps protect against these cytokines because it binds to the receptors for these proteins thus blocking the proteins from attacking cells in your body by using them as their receptor. The molecule also possesses anti-inflammatory properties in addition to blocking cytokine activity, elevating glutathione levels, reducing oxidative stress, and improving cellular function.
Side Effects Of Tylenol
The most common side effect of acetaminophen is nausea. Nausea is a very common side effect of all painkillers and will typically go away within a few hours. The severity of nausea varies from person to person, however, the most important thing you can do if you get nausea is to take the medication with food or with a little bit of liquid in your stomach. Drinking water or having an antacid before taking Tylenol may also help.
2. Liver Damage
The liver is an extremely important organ in your body because it acts as a filter between blood and toxins that are released into your bloodstream by other organs, as well as acting as a storage area for vitamins and nutrients like folate. There are two main types of liver damage produced by acetaminophen: Non-life threatening (such as jaundice), and potentially life-threatening (such as cirrhosis) which can lead to liver failure, liver cancer, pancreatitis, or kidney failure). Acetaminophen damages cells in the liver by disrupting lipid peroxidation, which is what causes cells to die. This damage can be prevented because certain drugs such as aspirin can prevent these harmful effects on the liver.
3. Liver Enlargement/ Damage Caused By Cytochrome P450 3a4
This type of chemical reaction occurs when Tylenol breaks down in your body causing damage especially for people who have Cytochrome P450 3A4 or for people who have a family history of liver damage. The most common side effects are jaundice, appetite loss, fatigue, weight loss, and an increase in liver enzymes.
4. Muscle Damage Caused By Cytochrome P450 2e1
Another type of chemical reaction occurs when Tylenol breaks down in your body causing damage, especially for people who have Cytochrome P450 2E1 or people who have a family history of muscle damage. The most common side effects are weakness, nausea, and muscle pain.
6. Diarrhea/ Constipation
The Most Common Side Effects Of Acetaminophen Are Diarrhea And Constipation. For People Who Have Constipation, Please Try To Drink More Water Or Have A Fiber Supplement To Help You With This Problem. For People Who Have Diarrhea And/Or Stomach Pain, Drinking More Fluid May Help You Feel Better But If The Pain Still Persists Please See A Doctor Because It Could Be Something More Serious Like An Infection Or Acid Reflux.
Tylenol is a powerful drug that is designed to relieve pain, lower fevers, and relieve inflammation in the body. It has many uses, which is why it is one of the most popular drugs on the market today. When taken as directed, it can be an extremely helpful drug. However, it can also cause damage to your liver when taken for a long period. You should always monitor how much you are taking and only take it when necessary. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and use the recommended dosage.