Dosing Charts

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Dosing Charts for Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Fever>

Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be used for fever and pain. Acetaminophen can be used from 2 months of age and above. Ibuprofen can be used from 6 months of age and above.

Fever
Most parents get very frightened when their children get fevers. In fact the majority of calls we receive when we are on call at night are about fevers. Is this fear justified? Or are we too afraid of fevers?

Actually, it’s true; many of us are too afraid of fevers. In most cases, fever is the body’s way of responding to an infection. It makes the white blood cells in the body more efficient at fighting infections. Fever makes a child uncomfortable, but it usually is not dangerous at all.

Fever itself does not cause brain damage. Even a fever as high as 106 is not harmful to the body or brain! We believe that a fever is part of the immune system’s way of fighting the germs that cause the illness, and actually helps get rid of these germs faster.

Even though fevers are not in themselves dangerous, we do worry about what is causing the fever. Most of the time fevers are triggered by an infection. Viral or bacterial infections can cause fever. Viral infection will generally run their course over 4-5 days. Bacterial infections like strep throat will need to be treated with antibiotics. Our job is to figure out which kinds of infection it is, and to treat appropriately. But most of the time, even if there is an infection that we will want to treat with antibiotics, there is no great urgency.

So, most of the time you DO NOT have to panic about a fever. Do you have to “break the fever”? No. Do you have to worry if the fever does not come down with treatments? Not necessarily.

So why do we treat febrile children with acetaminophen or ibuprofen? The main reason is to make them more comfortable. Just getting a fever down doesn’t cure anything.

When should you call?
If your baby is under two months of age, we worry more about a fever than with older children. If your young infant has a fever of 100.5 degrees or more, we want you to call us immediately. For older ages, we certainly want to hear at once if you child has a fever of 104.5 degrees or more.

Other warning signs are extreme irritability, a stiff neck, or little spots of blood under the skin (“petechiae”). If your child just seems very sick, you should definitely call us.

Sometimes young children who have a rapid rise of temperature will have febrile seizures. This could be the scariest thing you could see as a parent. The key is not to panic. 6% of children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years of age are at risk for this type of seizure. It is not related to the height of the fever, rather to the speed with which the temperature rises.

If your child has had a febrile seizure in the past, you will want to treat the fever more aggressively than with most children. And if your child should have a febrile seizure, remember, you should call us, but in the great majority of cases it will cause no lasting damage.

How do we treat fever? Never use aspirin! Aspirin has been connected with a severe disease of the brain and liver in children and teens, called “Reye’s Syndrome”. We recommend using acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.). You can also soak your child in a lukewarm bath (not cold, just lukewarm). Make sure that the water is warm enough so that your child is not shivering. Finally, a child with a fever should be lightly dressed.

Again, if you are worried about your child we are available to speak to see you in the office or talk to you on the phone.

Acetaminophen Dosing: (Tylenol) 2 months and above.

Child's Weight (Pounds)

14-20 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 1/2 tsp

21-27 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 3/4 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 1 1/2 tabs

28-41 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 1 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 2 tabs
  • Chewable 160 mg. tablets - 1 tab

42-55 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 3 tabs
  • Chewable 160 mg. tablets - 1 1/2 tab

56-83 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 2 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 4 tabs
  • Chewable 160 mg. tablets - 2 tabs
  • Adult 325 mg. tablets - 1 tab

84-111 lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 3 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 5-6 tabs
  • Chewable 160 mg. tablets - 3 tabs
  • Adult 325 mg. tablets - 1 1/2 tabs
  • Adult 500 mg. tablets - 1 tab

112+ lbs

  • Syrup: 160 mg/5 mL (1 tsp) - 4 tsp
  • Chewable 80 mg. tablets - 8 tabs
  • Chewable 160 mg. tablets - 4 tabs
  • Adult 325 mg. tablets - 2 tabs
  • Adult 500 mg. tablets - 1 tab

Acetaminophen is recommended every 4-6 hours with a maximum of 4 doses in 24 hours. (Note: Milliliter is abbreviated as ml; 5 ml equals 1 teaspoon [tsp]. Don't use household teaspoons, which can vary in size.

Ibuprofen Dosing: (Advil/Motrin) 6 months and above.

Child's Weight (pounds)

12-17 lbs

  • Infant Drops 50mg/1.25 mL - 1.25 mL
  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 1/2 tsp

18-23 lbs

  • Infant Drops 50mg/1.25 mL - 1.875 mL
  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 3/4 tsp

24-35 lbs

  • Infant Drops 50mg/1.25 mL - 2.5 mL
  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 1 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 2 tabs

36-47 lbs

  • Infant Drops 50mg/1.25 mL - 3.75 mL
  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 3 tabs

48-59 lbs

  • Infant Drops 50mg/1.25 mL - 5 mL
  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 2 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 4 tabs
  • Junior-strength 100 mg tab - 2 tabs
  • Adult 200 mg. tablets - 1 tab

60-71 lbs

  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 2 1/2 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 5 tabs
  • Junior-strength 100 mg tab - 2 1/2 tabs
  • Adult 200 mg. tablets - 1 tab

72-95 lbs

  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 3 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 6 tabs
  • Junior-strength 100 mg tab - 3 tabs
  • Adult 200 mg. tablets - -1 1/2 tab

96 lbs

  • Liquid 100 mg/5 mL (tsp) - 4 tsp
  • Chewable 50 mg. tablets - 8 tabs
  • Junior-strength 100 mg tab - 4 tabs
  • Adult 200 mg. tablets - 2 tabs

Ibuprofen is recommended for children 6 months and above. Dosages may be repeated every six to eight hours, but should not be given more than four times in twenty-four hours. (Note: Milliliter is abbreviated as ml; 5 ml equals 1 teaspoon [tsp]. Don't use household teaspoons, which can vary in size.

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