If you do a Google search for "Tylenol #3", the second hit on the page is this link. Looking closely at the page, you’ll note that we’re talking about "Tylenol #3" specifically. Why then, is the Common Name listed as "acetaminophen – codeine – caffeine"?
There is no caffeine in Tylenol #3. There’s just acetaminophen and codeine.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Tylenol NO. 3 with CodeineÂ®: Each round, hard, white, flat-faced tablet, bevelled-edged, engraved with "3" on one side and "McNEIL" on the other, contains acetaminophen 300 mg and caffeine 15 mg, in combination with codeine phosphate 30 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cellulose, cornstarch, and magnesium stearate. This medication does not contain gluten, lactose, sodium metabisulfite, or tartrazine.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Anyone allergic to acetaminophen, caffeine, or codeine should not take this medication.
In the United States, when a doctor writes "T3" or "Tylenol #3" you’re getting 300mg of acetaminophen and 30mg of codeine. No caffeine.
However if you go to the Janssen-Ortho website and hit up their product information PDF for their Tylenol products, it indicates there’s caffeine in T2 and T3, but not T4. But the Ortho-McNeil website’s prescribing information (PDF), for T3 indicates that it’s 300mg APAP and 30mg of codeine. No caffeine.
So WTF is going on here? I called Ortho-McNeil (US makers of T3) and I also called Janssen-Ortho (Canadian counterpart). The US office told me what their website did: no caffeine. I have yet to hear back from the Canadians — they say they’ll return your call in one business day. I’m wondering if there’s a difference between Canadian T3s and US T3s? Maybe in Canada, they have 15mg of caffeine, whereas in the US, they don’t? If this is indeed the case, talk about a nightmare trying to track down accurate consumer information. Yikes.
Update: I just got off the phone with Janssen-Ortho of Canada, and Tylenol #3 in Canada has caffeine in it, which means that it is different than the US formulation of Tylenol #3. If I had trouble figuring this out, how much moreso would your average consumer struggle?
[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, drug information, T3, Tylenol #3[/tags]