Ibuprofen Use in Young Children - Topic Overview
Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is
used to relieve pain and reduce fever and
inflammation. If your child is allergic to aspirin, do not give
him or her ibuprofen.
Be sure to follow these medicine precautions:
- Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give.
- For children younger than 6 months of age, follow what your doctor has told you about the amount to give.
- Talk to your doctor before you give medicine to reduce a fever in a baby who is 3 months of age or younger. This is to make sure a young baby's fever is not a sign of a serious illness. The exception is if your baby has just had an immunization. Fevers sometimes occur as a reaction to immunizations. After immunizations, you can give your baby medicine to reduce a fever.
- Ibuprofen comes in liquid, tablets, caplets, or concentrated drops. Read and follow all the
instructions on the medicine bottle and box carefully before giving your child
any medicine. There are different products and strengths for infants and children. The correct dose and timing of the dose are important for the medicine to
- Do not alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen
because of the possible risk of overdose. Studies have not shown any more
benefit from alternating these medicines.
- If you are giving your child ibuprofen for fever or pain, don't also give your child a cold or flu medicine that contains acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Your child could get too much medicine.
Dosage: Dosages are based on the
child's weight. Give the medicine every 6 hours. Do not give more than 4 doses
in a 24-hour period.
Ibuprofen dose for your child's weight
weight in pounds (lb)||Child's
weight in kilograms (kg)||Dose in milligrams (mg)|
|Less than 12 lb||Less than 6 kg||Ask a doctor|
|12–17 lb||7–8 kg||50 mg|
|18–23 lb||9–10 kg||75 mg|
|24–35 lb||11–16 kg||100 mg|
|36–47 lb||17–21 kg||150 mg|
|48–59 lb||22–27 kg||200 mg|
|60–71 lb||28–32 kg||250 mg|
|72–95 lb||33–43 kg||300 mg|
|96 lb and above||44 kg and above||Adult dose|
Side effects of ibuprofen are usually mild. Stomach upset or
discomfort is the most common side effect. Taking ibuprofen with food may
Do not give your child ibuprofen if
he or she has any of the following:
- History of gastrointestinal
- Kidney or liver disease
- Allergic reactions to
aspirin or related drugs
Do not give your child ibuprofen if he
or she is taking any of the following medicines:
- Blood thinners
- Corticosteroids (such as prednisone)