Some Useful Dosing Guidelines for Children

You hate to see them suffer and there isn’t a parent that hasn’t gone through the frustration of trying to decide, which medication is best for their child.    This usually happens late at night and often after being jarred awake by the cries of Mom or Dad, “I don’t feel good”, or “…it hurts!”, as they tug at their ear or are holding their throat.    Although much has changed over recent years, where many well known medications for children have been removed from the market or indications for their use have become very limited, the medications we have come to think of for pain and fever are still those that we have learned to depend on and it’s partly because they simply work.   We’re referring to acetaminophen containing products and ibuprofen containing products.     The acetaminophen products are those such as Tylenol®, Tempra®, Panadol® as well as many private label brands.   The ibuprofen products are those such as Advil®, Motrin® and the many private label brands as well.

Although both acetaminophen and ibuprofen are promoted for similar symptoms, let’s make it clear that although they both result in similar pain relief or reduction of fever, they do represent two different classes of analgesics, and therefore do have some distinguishing characteristics.

Let’s start with Acetaminophen, which was introduced to the North American market long before Ibuprofen.  Many know this medication by the two popular brand names, Tylenol and Tempra.  Both are Acetaminophen formulations  and are available in a drop form, where the concentration is most often 80mg per 1ml or 1cc of the drop solution.  That means 0.5ml or half a dropperful (usually) delivers 40mg of Acetaminophen.   We’re going to pause right here and state a clear warning about these medications and in fact, all medications for children.   Because there are many different brands of these medications and at least THREE or maybe FOUR different dosage forms, YOU MUST READ THE CONCENTRATION, THE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS AND THE WARNINGS ON THE MANUFACTURER’S PACKAGING.   Although we can give you the information and the dosing guidelines, we cannot be there with you to verify that everything is correct for the brand, the dosage form and the specific child.   We need you to develop the good habit now, of reading the information that comes with the medication, the information on the package and even better, be familiar with this information well before you will actually need to give any medication to your child.    As we started out saying, pain and fever do not make appointments for when it is most convenient for parents and more often, it is late at night, you are probably tired yourself and although you are always welcome to check our website at any hour of the day or night, I”m afraid we will not be at your side and you will have to believe us that it is best to have this information from the product manufacturer and the information we are going to give you here, reviewed before you really need.

 

Acetaminophen Dosing Chart – Children aged 0-12 years

  •   Dosage is based on child’s age or current weight. Dosing based on weight is more accurate and strongly recommended.
  •  Administer a single dose orally every 4-6 hours. Do not exceed more than 5 doses daily for a maximum of 5 days.
  • To administer liquid dosage forms, only use syringes and droppers packaged with the medication

Child’s weight

6-11 lbs

12-17 lbs

 

18-23 lbs

24-35 lbs

36-47 lbs

48-59 lbs

60-71 lbs

72-95 lbs

CHILD’S AGE

0- 3 Months

4-11 Months

12-23 Months

2-3 Years

4-5 Years

6-8 Years

9-10 Years

11-12 Years

Acetaminophen drops (80mg/ml)

0.5 mls

1 ml

1.5 ml

2 ml

3 ml

4 ml

5 ml

6 ml

Acetaminophen  Suspension (160 mg/ 5 ml)

1.25 ml

2.5 ml

3.75 ml

5 ml

7.5 ml

10 ml

12.5 ml

15 ml

Acetaminophen Chewable Tablets (160 mg/Tablet)

-

-

-

1

1 ½

2

2 ½

3

Maximum Per Dose

40 mg

80 mg

120 mg

160 mg

240 mg

320 mg

400 mg

480 mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ibuprofen Dosing Chart – Children aged 0-12 years

  •  Dosage is based on child’s age or current weight. Dosing based on weight is more accurate and strongly recommended.
  •  Administer a single dose orally every 4-6 hours. Do not exceed more than 5 doses daily for a maximum of 5 days.
  • To administer liquid dosage forms, only use syringes and droppers packaged with the medication

Child’s weight

6-12 LBS

13-17lBS

 

18-23 lbS

24-35 lbs

36-47 lbs

48-59 lbs

60-71 lbs

72-95 lbs

CHILD’S AGE

0-3 Months

4-11 Months

12-23 Months

2-3 Years

4-5 Years

6-8 Years

9-10 Years

11-12 Years

Ibuprofen Drops (200 mg/5 ml)

0.75 mls

1 ml

1.4 ml

3 ml

5 ml

6.25 ml

7.5 ml

6 ml

Ibuprofen  Suspension (100 mg/ 5 ml)

1.5 ml

2 ml

1.9 ml

6 ml

10 ml

12.5 ml

15 ml

19 ml

Ibuprofen Chewable Tablets (100 mg/Tablet)

-

-

-

1

1 ½

2

2 ½

3

Maximum Per Dose

30 mg

40 mg

56 mg

120 mg

200 mg

250 mg

300 mg

380 mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If ever in doubt, the pharmacist is just a phone call away or else just around the corner.   We all understand you want to do what’s best for your child and that’s why we encourage you to ask those questions BEFORE dosing.   That way you can dose with confidence!

 

 

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