Q. How can you tell the difference between food poisoning or possible Acetaminophen poisoning?

Answered by
Dr. Divakara. P
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 31, 2014 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

How can you tell the difference between food poisoning or possible Acetaminophen poisoning? I ask this because I used the internet to look up for my symptoms. And it is two days since when my symptoms started. I took 4 tablets of Tylenol rapid release and an hour before that I had tablet Tylenol Cold for my cold which I have had for the past 3 days. Now I have a very sour stomach for the past two days. Yesterday I was vomiting and having frequent bowel movements. I have only had water and antacid since yesterday around 10 PM. Today I had a medium rare prime rib with steamed veggies and a salad, then when I was back home, I had a cup of egg nog.



Welcome to

  • The active ingredient in tablet tylenol is Paracetamol also known as Acetaminophen
  • Frequent bowel movements is not a symptom of Paracetamol poisoning.
  • So I will tell that you do not have Paracetamol poisoning and it is food poisoning. 
  • Also the number of tablets needed to cause Paracetamol poisoning is less in your case.
  • But still I would like to know the dose of Tylenol tablets which you had taken. 
  • You may require antibiotic therapy if vomiting or loose motion persists

Hope you find this information useful. For any clarifications feel free to ask a general medicine physician online -->

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