Tylenol-3 is a narcotic, but as far as narcotics go, it's not that strong. It's usually used to treat pain that over-the-counter painkillers will not help, but for severe pain usually something stronger is prescribed, like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, etc.- there are dozens of different kinds of narcotic painkillers.
However, you should be very cautious with tylenol-3s, or with any other painkiller that contains tylenol. Even taking a little bit more tylenol than recommended can cause serious liver problems. Someone who takes tylenol-3s or a similar medication on a regular basis needs to be very careful not to take too much. If you need to take more tylenol-3s than recommended to help with your pain, talk to your doctor about getting something stronger.
In a technical sense there *are* stronger things out there, things such as Percocet, Vicoden, Morphine, etc. Is Tylenol 3 effective? Usually it will depend on the pain it is prescribed to treat. In some cases it works just fine, in others something stronger is required. Talking to your doctor about your pain medication if it is *not* effective enough for you could be a good route to take.
Yes, its stronger than regular tylenol but less strong than a loratab in my opinion. They do work very well though in dealing with pain...ive recieved them after dental work before and they worked just fine.