648373 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Giving Acetaminophen to Your Child

    momandchild The doctor has prescribed a medicine called acetaminophen for your child. Be sure that you read and understand the information below before giving your child this medicine.

    What Is This Medicine For?

    Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain and fever.

    How Much Medicine Do I Give?

    The amount of medicine you give your child will depend on her weight or age. Below are suggested dosages. Make sure to check the amount of medicine in the liquid or tablet before giving the dose. Follow the instructions on the actual medicine label for the latest dosage information. Some brands may come in different concentrations, so make sure you check the label closely. Talk to the doctor if you are unsure of how much medicine to give your child.
    Age
    Weight
    Total Dose You Need to Give Your Child
    If using Children’s 80 mg tablet, you will need to give your child…
    If using Junior 160 mg tablet, you will need to give your child…
    2-3 years
    24-35 pounds (11-16 kg)
    160 mg
    2 tablets
    1 tablet**
    4-5 years
    36-47 pounds (16-21.5 kg)
    240 mg
    3 tablets
    1 ½ tablets**
    6-8 years
    48-59 pounds (21.5-27 kg)
    320 mg
    4 tablets
    2 tablets
    9-10 years
    60-71 pounds (27-32.5 kg)
    400 mg
    5 tablets
    2 ½ tablets
    11 years
    72-95 pounds (32.5-43 kg)
    480 mg
    6 tablets
    3 tablets
    ≥12 years
    96+ pounds (43.5+ kg)
    640 mg
    n/a
    4 tablets
    kg=kilogram; mg=milligram
    ** Ask your doctor if this suggested dose is right for your child.
    Dose may be given every 4-6 hours as needed. Do not give your child more than five doses in 24 hours.
    Age
    Weight
    Total Dose You Need to Give Your Child
    If using infant drops (80 mg/0.8ml), you will need to give your child…
    If using liquid (160 mg/5ml), you will need to give your child…
    0-3 months
    6-11 pounds (2.7-5 kg)
    40 mg
    0.4 ml**
    n/a
    4-11 months
    12-17 pounds (5-8 kg)
    80 mg
    0.8 ml**
    ½ teaspoon
    (2.5 ml)**
    12-23 months
    18-23 pounds (8-11 kg)
    120 mg
    1.2 ml**
    ¾ teaspoon
    (3.75 ml)**
    2-3 years
    24-35 pounds (11-16 kg)
    160 mg
    1.6 ml
    1 teaspoon (5 ml)
    4-5 years
    36-47 pounds (16-21.5 kg)
    240 mg
    n/a
    1 ½ teaspoons
    (7.5 ml)
    6-8 years
    48-59 pounds (21.5-27 kg)
    320 mg
    n/a
    2 teaspoons (10 ml)
    9-10 years
    60-71 pounds (27-32.5 kg)
    400 mg
    n/a
    2 ½ teaspoons
    (12.5 ml)
    11 years
    72-95 pounds (32.5-43 kg)
    480 mg
    n/a
    3 teaspoons (15 ml)
    kg=kilogram; mg=milligram; ml=milliliter
    ** Ask your doctor if this suggested dose is right for your child.
    Dose may be given every 4-6 hours as needed. Do not give your child more than five doses in 24 hours.
    For children less than two years old or less than 24 pounds (10 kg): Ask the doctor for specific dosing instructions that are right for your child.

    Are There Side Effects?

    Possible side effects can include:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Liver damage (rare)

    What Else Should I Know Before Giving My Child This Medicine?

    • Talk to the doctor first to make sure you understand how to give the medicine to your child. Also, let your doctor know if your child is taking any other medicines.
    • Do not give your child other medicines that contain acetaminophen. Overdosing can lead to serious problems.

    How Should I Store This Medicine?

    Store the medicine at room temperature (68°F-77°F [20°C-25°C]) in a place that is free from moisture and light. Do not store in the bathroom or kitchen.

    When Should I Call A Doctor?

    Call the doctor if your child has:
      Signs of a life-threatening reaction:
      • Wheezing
      • Chest tightness
      • Fever
      • Itching
      • Bad cough
      • Blue skin color
      • Convulsions
      • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • Really bad stomach pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Yellow skin or eyes
    • Rash
    Also, call the doctor if your child feels worse or the condition does not improve.
    If you think your child may have overdosed, go to the emergency room or call your local poison control center right away.

    RESOURCES

    American Pharmacists Association Foundation http://www.aphafoundation.org/

    United States Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Pharmacists Association http://www.pharmacists.ca/

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

    References

    Acetaminophen. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated May 16, 2011. Accessed June 10, 2011.

    Acetaminophen liquid. DailyMed website. Available at: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=25385#nlm34068-7. Updated December 2009. Accessed June 10, 2011.

    Children’s Tylenol dosing chart. In: Physicians’ Desk Reference. 64th ed. Montvale, NJ: PDR Network; 2009.

    Lexi-PALS. Acetaminophen. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated January 12, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2011.

    Revision Information

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