Giving Ibuprofen to Your Child

momandchild The doctor has suggested ibuprofen for your child. Here is what you need to know about this medicine.

What Is This Medication For?

Ibuprofen is used to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever.

How Much Medication Do I Give?

For children less than 6 months old: Ask the doctor how much your child should take.

The amount of medicine for children over 6 months is based on weight. Age may be used if weight is not known. The medicine label will list how much to give. Follow the instructions on the label of your child's medicine. It will have the most accurate dosage information. Some brands may have different measurements. Make sure to read the label closely. Always ask your child's doctor if you are unsure of how much to give.

Below are common suggested dosages:

Infant Ibuprofen Liquid

A dropper is given with the medicine to help measure liquid. It is best to use this dropper to avoid measuring mistakes.

Based on strength: 50 mg/ 1.25 ml

Weight Age Dose - measurements can be found on dropper
Under 12 lbs Under 6 months Ask your child's doctor.
12 to 17 lbs (5 to 8 kg) 6 to 11 months 1.25 ml
18 to 23 lbs (8 to 10 kg) 12 to 23 months 1.875 ml

lbs=pounds; kg=kilogram; ml=milliliter

Dose may be given every 6-8 hours. Do not give more than 4 doses within 24 hours.

Children's Ibuprofen Oral Suspension (Liquid)

Medicine will come with a measuring cup. It is best to use this cup to avoid measuring mistakes.

Based on strength: 100 mg/5 ml

Weight Age Dose - measurements can be found on cup
Under 24 lbs Under 2 years Ask your child's doctor.
24 to 35 lbs (11 to 16 kg) 2 to 3 years 5 ml (1 teaspoon)
36 to 47 lbs (16 to 21 kg) 4 to 5 years 7.5 ml (1.5 teaspoons)
48 to 59 lbs (22 to 27 kg) 6 to 8 years 10 ml (2 teaspoons)
60 to 71 lbs (27 to 32 kg) 9 to 10 years 12.5 ml (2.5 teaspoons)
72 to 95 lbs (33 to 43 kg) 11 years 15 ml (3 teaspoons)

lbs=pounds; kg=kilogram; ml=milliliter

Dose may be given every 6-8 hours. Do not give more than 4 doses within 24 hours.

Junior Ibuprofen Chewables

Medicine is given as a tablet that can be chewed.

Based on strength: 100 mg per tablet

Weight Age Number of Chewable Tablets
Under 48 lbs Under 6 years Ask your child's doctor.
48 to 59 lbs (22 to27 kg) 6 to 8 years 2 tablets
60 to 71 lbs (27 to 32 kg) 9 to10 years 2.5 tablets
72 to 95 lbs (33 to 43 kg) 11 years 3 tablets

lbs=pounds; kg=kilogram

Dose may be given every 6-8 hours. Do not give more than 4 doses within 24 hours.

Are There Side Effects?

In some children, ibuprofen may cause:

Let your child's doctor know if your child is having these problems. They may recommend a different medicine.

What Else Should I Know Before Giving My Child This Medication?

Talk to the doctor about using this medicine for your child. Make sure you understand how to give the medicine to your child. Let your doctor know if your child is taking any other medicine.

How Should I Store This Medication?

Store the medicine at 68°F-77°F (20°C-25°C). It should be kept in a place that is free from moisture and light. Keep this and all medicine out of reach from children.

When Should I Call A Doctor?

Call the doctor if you are unsure of how much medicine to give or your child has:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • New or worsening stomach pain
  • Swelling or pain in the hands or feet
  • Change in speech or vision
  • Eye pain or irritation
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Blood in urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Strange bruising or bleeding
  • Rash
  • Medicine does not appear to help or symptoms get worse

Get emergency medical care if your child has signs of a serious allergic reaction such as:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Bad cough
  • Blue skin color
  • Convulsions
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

Go to the emergency room or call for medical help right away if you think your child has taken too much medicine.

RESOURCES:

American Pharmacists Association Foundation
http://www.aphafoundation.org
US Food and Drug Administration
http://www.fda.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Pharmacists Association
http://www.pharmacists.ca

References:

Advil Dosage Charts for Infants and Children. Drugs.com website. Available at: https://www.drugs.com/dosage-charts/advil-infants-children.html. Updated November 29, 2018. Accessed January 24, 2020.
How to safely give ibuprofen. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2018. Accessed January 24, 2020.
Ibuprofen. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T233086/Ibuprofen. Updated November 30, 2018. Accessed January 24, 2020.
Ibuprofen Dosage Table for Fever and Pain. Healthy Children (AAP) website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/medication-safety/Pages/Ibuprofen-for-Fever-and-Pain.aspx. Updated May 23, 2016. Accessed January 24, 2020.
Last reviewed January 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 1/24/2020

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