Happy Birthday, Tylenol!

Published Online: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Tylenol recently passed a big mile marker—50 years. Introduced in 1955, the Tylenol brand was originally for children. It was not until 1961 that McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, launched Tylenol for adults.

Sales figures prove that the best-known acetaminophen is still going strong. The brand's sales were up nearly 9% in the first 9 months of 2005. Sales in 2004 totaled $786.5 million, but the figure does not include sales to hospitals, nursing homes, and Wal- Mart stores, according to the research firm Information Resources Inc. Aside from Tylenol being in 70% of US households, the removal of the antiinflammatory prescription painkillers Vioxx and Bextra from the market is said to have contributed to the sales growth. Tylenol is in a different drug class from anti-inflammatories such as Vioxx, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Tylenol is less likely to interact with other medications and is safe for patients with common conditions, compared with those drugs and aspirin.

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