As we approach cold and Flu season, it may be time to review the use and dosage of commonly used and overused medication. First keep in mind that over the counter medication will not shorten the illness. It may temporarily lessen the symptoms. Most routine illnesses with out complications are not life threatening, however misuse of medication may harm your child.
There is a degree of fever phobia among parents as well as some health professionals. The only reason to give a fever reducer is for comfort. If your child has a unusually high fever or appears to be seriously ill, then he should be seen.
Review the Acetaminophen dosing chart and the associated disclaimer.
|ACETAMINOPHEN DOSAGE (FOR FEVER AND PAIN)|
|Child’s weight (pounds)||7||14||21||28||42||56||84||112||lbs|
|Total Amount (mg.)||40||80||120||160||240||325||480||650||mg|
|Drops 80 mg/0.8 ml||0.4||0.8||1.2||1.6||2.4||—||—||—||ml|
|Syrup 160mg/5 ml (1 tsp)||—||½||¾||1||1½||2||2½||4||tsp|
|Chewable 80 mg. tablet||—||—||1½||2||3||4||5-6||8||tabs|
|Chewable 160 mg. tablet||—||—||—||1||1½||2||3||4||tabs|
|325 mg. tablet||—||—||—||—||—||1||1½||2||tabs|
|500 mg. tablet||—||—||—||—||—||—||1||1||tab|
- AGE LIMIT:
- Don’t use under 12 weeks of age (Reason: fever during the first 12 weeks of life needs to be documented in a medical setting and if present, your infant needs a complete evaluation.)
- Exception: fever from immunization if child is 8 weeks of age or older.
- Avoid multi-ingredient products in children under 6 years of age. (Reason: FDA recommendations 1/2008).
- DOSAGE: Determine by finding child’s weight in the top row of the dosage table
- BRAND NAMES: Tylenol, Feverall (suppositories), generic acetaminophen.
- FREQUENCY: Repeat every 4-6 hours as needed. Don’t give more than 5 times a day.
- ADULT DOSAGE: 650 mg
- MELTAWAYS: Dissolvable tabs that come in 80 mg and 160 mg (jr. strength)
- SUPPOSITORIES: Acetaminophen also comes in 80, 120, 325 and 650 mg suppositories (the rectal dose is the same as the dosage given by mouth).
- EXTENDED-RELEASE: Avoid 650 mg oral products in children (Reason: they are every 8 hour extended-release)
- CALCULATING DOSAGE: 5-7 mg/lb/dose (10-15 mg/kg/dose)
There have been changes in acetaminophen packaging and it is imperative that the parent or guardian measure all medication correctly.
Review the following dosage guidelines for Ibuprofen.
|IBUPROFEN DOSAGE (FOR FEVER AND PAIN)|
|Child’s weight more than (pounds)||12||18||24||36||48||60||72||96||lbs|
|Total amount (mg)||50||75||100||150||200||250||300||400||mg|
|Infant Drops 50 mg/1.25 ml||1.25||1.875||2.5||3.75||5||—||—||—||ml|
|Liquid 100 mg/5 ml (tsp)||½||¾||1||1½||2||2½||3||4||tsp|
|Chewable 50 mg tablets||—||—||2||3||4||5||6||8||tabs|
|Junior-strength 100 mg tablets||—||—||—||—||2||2 ½||3||4||tabs|
|Adult 200 mg. tablets||—||—||—||—||1||1||1½||2||tabs|
AGE LIMIT: Don’t use under 6 months of age.
(Reason: safety not established and doesn’t have FDA approval.)
Avoid multi-ingredient products in children under 6 years of age
(FDA recommendations 1/2008.)
DOSAGE: determine by finding your child’s weight in the top row of the dosage table
BRAND NAMES: Motrin, Advil, generic ibuprofen
- ADULT DOSAGE: 400 mg
- FREQUENCY: Repeat every 6-8 hours as needed
- INFANT DROPS: Ibuprofen infant drops come with a measuring syringe
- CALCULATING DOSAGE: 3-5 mg/lb/dose (5-10 mg/kg/dose)
Most health professionals do not recommend routine use of medication for teething
Most health professionals do not recommend the concomitant use of both acetaminophen and ibuprofen
There are some illnesses where it may be harmful to give a fever reducer or pain reliever. Use any medication with thoughtful consideration.