Can You Take Tylenol Before Getting A Tattoo?

Written by: Claudia

For people heading into a new tattoo who may be a little worried about the pain, you might be considering taking Tylenol. Tylenol is a painkiller often used to combat headaches or body aches, and may seem like a safe choice for a tattoo session as well. But with all the rules and regulations about what you consume before a tattoo, can you take tylenol before getting a tattoo?


Taking Tylenol Before Getting Inked

Yes, you can take a dose of Tylenol an hour before getting a tattoo. Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin, as these are blood thinners. Tylenol is best because it assists with decreasing the pain and doesn’t influence bleeding or change the thickness of your blood. 

Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is a safe bet before getting a tattoo. You need to remember that this should never be taken with other medications because it could cause complications, but could provide some minor relief for your tattoo session.

What is Tylenol?

Tylenol is a brand name acetaminophen medication, and likely one of the most well-known worldwide. It has various products under the brand that are all geared towards very focused or centralized pain relief, including an extra strength dosage.

While it’s normally geared towards fever, body aches, and general pains, it could help your body handle the pain of a tattoo or even the headache that could come from a tattoo session.

Unlike medications such as Advil or ibuprofen, Tylenol is not a blood thinner so it should not complicate any of the tattooing procedures. Like all medications, it should be taken in correct dosages and not mixed with other medications.

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Before Using Tylenol

  • Check the dosage: Read the box carefully and check the correct dosage amount for the particular version of the brand that you have purchased.
  • Beware of allergies: Although acetaminophen allergies are rare, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor prior to taking over-the-counter medication.
  • Don’t mix: Never mix Tylenol with other medications or alcohol.
  • Don’t risk it: If you’ve never taken Tylenol before, trying before a tattoo session is not the way to go. Although it does not have side effects, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Time it right: For maximum efficiency, Tylenol should be taken twenty minutes before your tattoo session.
  • Understand that it may not be effective: Because you can never anticipate how your body will respond to pain, especially a new pain such as skin trauma, you need to be prepared with the understanding that Tylenol might not do anything to help combat the discomfort of a tattoo.

Types of Tylenol

Tylenol not only comes in a wide variety of focused pain relief, it also has a variety of formats. All are appropriate for usage prior to a tattoo.

  • Dissolving Tablets - These usually “kick in” quicker than other formats
  • Rapid Release Gels - These also “kick in” rather quickly.
  • Regular Strength - If you don’t use Tylenol often, this is the safest consumption avenue.
  • Extra Strength - If you really feel that you’ll need help combating this pain, you might consider extra strength Tylenol.

Will Tylenol Help With Tattoo Pain?

If we are being honest with you, Tylenol is not likely to help a lot with the tattooing experience, but may help with the pain felt after the trauma of getting tattooed, such as swelling, sore feeling, and the like. It may also help with any headaches you get after your tattoo.

There are other more effective ways to manage the pain of a tattoo:

Our Final Thoughts

There is nothing wrong or unsafe when it comes to taking Tylenol before getting a tattoo. Remember to follow the correct dosage amounts, and to ensure the ingredients in this medication are safe for you to take. While Tylenol may not help combat a lot of the pain felt during your session, it may help with your swelling or general pain felt afterwards.

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The information contained on Tattify is intended for informational and educational purposes only. None of the statements made on this website are intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease, infection or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before using tattoo/skincare products that may interfere with medications or known conditions. This article is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute medical or professional advice or services. If you are looking for help with your condition, please seek out a qualified medical practitioner.

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