(MOTRIN, ADVIL, PEDIACARE FEVER)
When Should Ibuprofen be Given to a Kid?
Ibuprofen has three actions: it reduces fever, relieves pain and fights inflammation. Typical ibuprofen for kids is used during teething, earaches, sunburn, fevers, headaches and sore muscles.
Ibuprofen Dosage for Kids
(See dosing chart below). Although the package might not give a dosage for under two years, it can be safely used down to two months of age (it used to only be approved down to 6 months, but in 2001, it was proven to be safe and effective down to two months of age). Some packages will use an age range to figure dose, but it is more effective to dose by weight. The dose is 4.5 milligrams per pound of body weight (for metric users, that’s 10mg per kilo). For example: a 22-pound child would get about 100mg (22 X 4.5 =99). This comes out to one teaspoon of the children’s liquid. Some books recommend half this dose for “low grade” fevers below 102.5 but I have found this to just wear off sooner, requiring more medication.
Dr. Sears Helpful Ibuprofen Hints
- Ibuprofen usually starts taking effect within 30 minutes and should last at least six hours. If it wears-off too soon, then use a dose of Acetaminophen.
- For very high or stubborn fevers, alternate between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen every three hours (i.e., give a dose of Acetaminophen then three hours later give Ibuprofen then three hours later Acetaminophen, ect.) These two medications are safe to use together like this.
- Compared with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen works a little faster, lasts a little longer, and seems to bring a fever down farther.
- 1 tsp (5ml) of children’s liquid and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) of infant drops both contain 100mg of Ibuprofen- if you run out of one form, the other can be substituted, but be sure you know which you have and use them correctly.
- There are different dropper sizes: Children’s Motrin Drops and Pediacare Fever Drops use a 1.25ml (¼ tsp) dropper, whereas Pediatric Advil Drops use a 2.5ml (½ tsp) syringe for dosing. This can be confusing if your Doctor tells you the dose in droppers. Our dosing chart gives the dose in milliliters, teaspoons, syringes and droppers.
- Some packages come with a cup that is “measured” in child’s weight or age – these cups will under- dose so you should just use your own dropper or cup that measures in teaspoons or milliliters.
Safety and Side Effects of Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is generally considered very safe to use in infants and children. There are minimal side- effect concerns in a healthy child. It sometimes can cause stomach upset, do not use if your child has stomach ulcers. Ibuprofen also can have a mild effect on blood clotting ability; I usually don’t use it if a child has large wounds or bruises (note: Acetaminophen does not have theses two effects). Ibuprofen has a good safety margin, i.e. it takes many times the regular dose to be harmful. If given at the proper doses, it is safe to use “around the clock” for several days.
Interactions: Ibuprofen and Other Medicines
Ibuprofen can be used along with any antibiotic, cold or cough remedy (providing Ibuprofen is not one of the ingredients).
How Ibuprofen is Supplied
- Pediatric/infant drops 50mg/1.25ml
- Children’s liquid 100mg/5ml
- Chewable tablets 50mg or 100mg
- Junior strength caplets 100mg
Ibuprofen Dosing Chart
Doses can be given every 6 hours. When treating fever or pain, I like to use a “strong but safe” dose so your child will feel better sooner. I have designed this chart with narrow weight ranges so you can give the best dose.
Important note for Ibuprofen infant and pediatric drops dosage
Note: as of February 2003, Motrin changed their dropper to a syringe that is identical to the Advil syringe. The old dropper was like the Pediacare Fever Drops – if you have the old dropper, just follow the instructions for the Pediacare drops, below.
Different dropper sizes: Pediacare Fever Drops come with a 1.25ml (¼ tsp) dropper, whereas Motrin and Advil Infant’s Drops come with a 1.875ml syringe for dosing. The amount you are giving is the same, you are just giving it in a different sized dropper.
- Pediacare: ½ dropper = 0.625ml, and 1 dropper = 1.25ml
- Advil/Motrin Infant drops: 1/3 syringe = 0.625ml, 2/3 syringe = 1.25ml, and 1 syringe = 1.875ml.
Don’t let the dropper/syringe difference confuse you. The milligram amount you are giving is the same, you are just giving it in a different sized syringe.
If you’re in doubt about how much to give, you can use the milligram dosage column on the left to double-check yourself.
|Weight:||Milligram Dosage||Pediacare drops 50mg/1.25ml||Advil/Motrin Drops 50mg/1.25ml||Children’s liquid 100mg/5ml||Chewable Tablets 50mg each||Junior strength Caps or chews 100mg each|
|9-10 lbs||25mg||½ dropper (0.625)||1/3 syringe (0.625ml)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|11-16 lbs||50mg||1 dropper (1.25ml)||2/3 syringe (1.25ml)||½ tsp (2.5ml)||N/A||N/A|
|17-21 lbs||75mg||1 ½ dropper (1.25ml + 0.625ml)||1 syringe (1.875ml)||¾ tsp (3.75ml)||N/A||N/A|
|22-26 lbs||100mg||2 droppers (2 x 1.25ml)||1 1/3 syringe (1.875ml + 0.625ml)||1 tsp (5ml)||2 tablets||1 tablet|
|27-32 lbs||125mg||2 ½ droppers (2 x 1.25ml + 0.625ml)||1 2/3 syringe (1.875ml + 01.25ml)||1 ¼ tsp (6.25ml)||2 ½ tablets|
|33-37 lbs||150mg||3 droppers (3 x 1.25ml)||2 syringes (2 x 1.875ml)||1 ½ tsp (7.5ml)||3 tablets||1 ½ tablet|
|38-42 lbs||175mg||3 ½ droppers (3 x 1.25ml + 0.625ml)||2 1/3 syringes (2 x 1.875ml + 0.625ml)||1 ¾ tsp (8.75ml)||3 ½ tablets|
|43-53 lbs||200mg||4 droppers (4 x 1.25ml)||2 2/3 syringes (2 x 1.875ml + 1.25ml)||2 tsp (10ml)||4 tablets||2 tablets|
|54-64 lbs||250mg||Use liquid or tablets||Use liquid or tablets||2 ½ tsp (12.5ml)||5 tablets||2 ½ tablets|
|65-75 lbs||300mg||3 tsp (15ml)||6 tablets||3 tablets|
|76-86 lbs||350mg||3 ½ tsp (17.5ml)||7 tablets||3 ½ tablets|
|87-95 lbs||400mg||4 tsp (20ml)||8 tablets||4 tablets|
|> 95 lbs||Give Adult Dose|