Acetaminophen / Ibuprofen Dosages v2

Medications and Dosages to Reduce Pain and Fever

Important notes: *updated 2/28/12

1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, feverall) and ibuprofen (motrin, advil) are medications used for treating pain and fever in infants, children and adults.
2. Dosing of these medications is based on WEIGHT, not age.  Keep a note of your child’s most current weight on hand for dosing.
3. Fever is not dangerous, as long as the condition causing it (such as a virus) is not dangerous.  We recommend only treating a fever if it is greater than 100.5 and the child is uncomfortable, or if you are putting a child to bed knowing their low-grade fever is likely to rise.
4. Temperature in infants under 12 weeks of age is most accurately measured by a rectal thermometer. Temporal thermometers(used over the forehead)can be used after 12 weeks, and ear thermometers after 6 months. Oral thermometers are useful only when a child can hold the instrument under her tongue for several minutes without biting(usually after age 5.)
5. We recommend starting with the appropriate dose of acetaminophen.  If the fever is greater than 102.5, and has not decreased an hour after treatment, you may supplement with a dose of ibuprofen.
6. Acetominophen and ibuprofen are different types of medications, thus may be used together without adverse effect.  However, we only recommend using them in tandem for persistently high fevers or discomfort.  In these situations, you can alternate the medications using each type every 6 hours, but alternating every 3 hours.  For example, acetaminophen at 12 noon, ibuprofen at 3 pm, acetaminophen at 6 pm, ibuprofen at 9 pm.  This helps avoid fever spikes as a medication wears off.  Neither medication should be used more than 4 times a day, nor should you continue this pattern for more than 24 hours without consulting you physician.
7. Never give these medications to an infant less then 8 weeks of age without first consulting your pediatrician.
8. Acetaminophen suppositories are available as Feverall without a prescription at your pharmacy.  These are useful for children who are vomiting, or refuse to take oral medications.  Lubricate the suppository with a little Vaseline or diaper cream, and insert in your child’s rectum with them lying on their side, knees to the chest.  Hold the buttocks closed for a few minutes to assure absorption.
9. Always use a proper measuring device. For example:
Dropper / Cup* When giving infant drops, use only the dosing device (dropper or syringe) enclosed in the package.
* When giving children's suspension or liquid, use the dosage cup enclosed in the package. If you misplace the dosage cup, consult your health care provider or pharmacist for advice. (Kitchen spoons are not accurate measures.)


10. WARNING: If you're also giving your child over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as cold preparations, be aware that these may contain pain or fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Be sure to read all OTC medication labels carefully to ensure your child is not receiving more acetaminophen or ibuprofen than recommended.
11. Manufacturers are changing the amount (concentration) of acetaminophen in medicines for infants. These new concentrations will have different dosing directions. During the transition, you may find both concentrations on store shelves and in your home.
*Find the concentration for the medicine on the front of the medicine bottle, either 80mg/0.8mL (old product concentration) or 160mg/5mL (new product concentration) and refer to the updated dosing chart below.

Acetaminophen Dosing Information

(Tylenol or another brand)

Give every 4-6 hours, as needed, no more than 5 times in 24 hours (unless directed to do otherwise by your health care provider.)
Weight of Child Age of Child OLD
Infant Drops
 
0.8mL = 80mg
NEW
Infant Drops

5mL= 160mg
Children's liquid
or suspension
 
1 tsp (5mL) = 160mg
Children's
tablets
1 tablet = 80mg
Junior Strength
1 tablet = 160mg
6-11 lbs
(2.7-5kg)
0-3 mos 0.4mL 1.25mL 1.25 ml    
12-17 lbs
(5.5-7.7kg)
4-11 mos 0.8mL 2.5mL 2.5 mL
(80mg)
   
18-23 lbs
(8.2-10.5kg)
12-23 mos 1.2mL 3.75mL 3.75 mL
(120mg)
   
24-35 lbs
(10.9-15.9kg)
2-3 yrs 1.6mL 5mL 5mL
(160mg)
2 tablets  
36-47 lbs
(16.4-21.4kg)
4-5 yrs  
 
7.5mL
(240mg)
3 tablets  
48-59 lbs
(21.8-26.8 kg)
6-8 yrs  
 
10 mL
(320 mg)
4 tablets 2 tablets
60-71 lbs
(27.3-32.3 kg)
9-10 yrs  
 
12.5 mL
(400 mg)
5 tablets 2.5 tablets
72-95 lbs
(32.7-43.2 kg)
11 yrs  
 
15 mL
(480 mg)
6 tablets 3 tablets
 

Ibuprofen Dosing Information

(Advil, Motrin, or another brand)

Give every 6-8 hours, as needed, no more than 4 times in 24 hours (unless directed to do otherwise by your health care provider)
Weight of Child Age of Child Infant Drops
dropper
1.25mL = 50mg
Children's liquid
or suspension

cup
1 tsp (5mL) = 100mg
Children's
tablets

1 tablet = 50mg
Junior Strength
1 tablet = 100mg
under 11 lbs
(5kg)
under 6 mos        
12-17 lbs
(5.5-7.7kg)
6-11 mos 1.25mL 2.5 ml or
1/2 teaspoon
   
18-23 lbs
(8.2-10.5kg)
12-23 mos 1.875mL 3.75 ml or
3/4 teaspoon
   
24-35 lbs
(10.9-15.9kg)
2-3 yrs 2.5 ml 5 ml or
1 teaspoon
(100mg)
2 tablets  
36-47 lbs
(16.4-21.4kg)
4-5 yrs   7.5mL
(150mg)
3 tablets  
44-60 lbs
(21.8-26.8 kg)
6-8 yrs   10mL
(200 mg)
4 tablets 2 tablets
60-71 lbs
(27.3-32.3 kg)
9-10 yrs   12.5mL
(250 mg)
5 tablets 2.5 tablets
72-95 lbs
(32.7-43.2 kg)
11 yrs   15mL
(300 mg)
6 tablets 3 tablets