Medication Dosing

Acetaminophen (same as Tylenol) 160/5ml

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is available without a prescription. Determine the correct dosage by finding your child's weight in the table here. You may repeat the dosage every 4-6 hours as needed. Do not give acetaminophen more than 5 times a day. Do not use acetaminophen in children under 3 months of age without talking with your doctor first. If your infant has a fever, temperature higher than 100.4, during the first 12 weeks of life, see your child's healthcare provider immediately.

Suppositories: Acetaminophen is also available as a rectal suppository in 120-mg, 325-mg, and 650- mg dosages. Suppositories are useful if a child with a fever is vomiting often or having seizures caused by the fever. Use the same dose as listed above for the suppository. Most suppositories can be cut (for example, cut in half) to supply the right dose for your child's age.

Ibuprofen (same as Motrin or Advil): 50/1.25ml Infant Drops; 100/5ml Children’s

Determine the correct dosage by finding your child's weight here. You may repeat the dosage every 6 to 8 hours as needed. Note that some medicines come with a 1.25 ml dropper and others come with a 1.875ml syringe. Don't let the dropper/syringe difference confuse you. The milligram amount you should give is the same. Do not give ibuprofen to children under 6 months of age.

Alternating or Combining Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen

If instructed by your healthcare provider to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen, do it as follows:

  • Alternate doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen every 3 hours.
  • Alternate medicines for only 24 hours or less, then return to a single product.
Combining acetaminophen and ibuprofen is generally not recommended. Combining can cause confusion, dosage errors, and poisoning.
Avoid Aspirin

Children (through age 21 years) should not take aspirin if they have chickenpox or influenza (any cold, cough, or sore throat symptoms). This recommendation is based on several studies that have linked aspirin to Reye's syndrome, severe encephalitis like illness, brain damage and/or liver failure. Most pediatricians have stopped using aspirin for fevers.