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Medication Dosages

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Use medications safely and appropriately

Cough & Cold

We do NOT recommend the use of combination medication containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Many versions of combination cough & cold medications have been developed, we recommend only treating the symptoms that your child is experiencing.

For Dosing information, please follow the instructions on the box.

As you may already be aware, the makers of all over-the-counter oral cough and cold medicines for infants have taken those products off the market.  This action was a precautionary measure to avoid potential misuse of these products, including unintentional overdose in infants and children under the age of 4.

This action does not affect the use of these medications in children 4 years old and over. The companies who make these products have revised product information to reflect this new information.

Use of cough and cold products are safe when used as directed, and most parents use them correctly and appropriately. Be assured this withdrawal is not a result of specific events linked to any specific brand.

Fever & Pain - Acetaminophen/Tylenol Dosing

Here are some important general guidelines for using these products:

  • We recommend acetaminophen/Tylenol as a first line treatment for pain and/or fever. If your child’s response does not seem adequate, try ibuprofen as an alternative.
  • You are treating your child, not a number on the thermometer. Your goal in treating a fever is to make your child comfortable, not to make the number lower.
  • Whenever possible, use your child’s most current weight when choosing an appropriate dose of medication.
  • Do not give both acetaminophen and ibuprofen to a child with fever. It is OK to “tag team” a dose of the second medicine on a one-time basis if you are having trouble making your child comfortable, but this should not be a recurrent procedure. Please discuss this with your physician.
  • If necessary acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used in alternating doses every 4 hours. For example, Tylenol at noon then Motrin at 4 PM.
  • Temperature should be measured rectally in children under 12 weeks of age. Temporal artery thermometers (swipe along forehead) can be used after 12 weeks of age. Ear (otic) thermometers should be reserved for children over the age of 6 months. An oral thermometer is not appropriate until your child can hold it under his tongue for several minutes without biting (usually around age 5).
  • Never give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to an infant under 2 months of age. In addition, do not give ibuprofen to an infant under the age of 6 months without specific direction from a physician.
  • Acetaminophen rectal suppositories can be purchased at your pharmacy without a prescription. They are helpful to have on hand in case your child has fever or pain and is vomiting and can’t keep down acetaminophen by mouth. Use K-Y Jelly or Vaseline to lubricate the suppository and insert in the child’s rectum every 4 hours as necessary.
ACETAMINOPHEN DOSAGE (Tylenol® every 4 hours, as needed.)
*Multiple types available check bottle carefully.
Weight Age Infant Concentrated Suspension 80mg/0.8ml Infant/Children’s Suspension/Elixir (160mg/5 ml) Children’s Soft Chew Tablets (80mg each) Jr. Strength Tabs/Caps (160mg each) Rectal Suppositories (Various doses)
6-11 lbs 2-3 mos. ½ dppr = 0.4 ml ¼ tsp = 1.25 ml     (½) 80 mg suppository
12-17 lbs 4-11 mos. 1 dppr = 0.8 ml ½ tsp = 2.5 ml     (1) 80 mg suppository
18-23 lbs 12-23 mos. 1 ½ dppr = 1.2 ml ¾ tsp = 3.75 ml     (1) 120 mg suppository
24-35 lbs 2-3 yrs. 2 dppr = 1.6 ml 1 tsp = 5 ml 2 chew tabs   (½) 325 mg suppository
36-47 lbs 4-5 yrs.   1 ½ tsp = 7.5 ml 3 chew tabs 1 ½ tabs/caps (2) 120 mg suppositories
48-59 lbs 6-8 yrs.   2 tsp = 10 ml 4 chew tabs 2 tabs/caps (1) 325 mg suppository
60-71 lbs 9-10 yrs.   2 ½ tsp = 12.5 ml 5 chew tabs 2 ½ tabs/caps (1) 325 mg suppository
72-95 lbs 11 yrs.   3 tsp = 15 ml 6 chew tabs 3 tabs/caps (1 ½) 325 mg suppository
Over 95 lbs Over 11 yrs.       4 tabs/caps OR
2 adult tabs/caps
(1) 650 mg suppository OR
(2) 325 mg suppositories

Fever & Pain - Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

DOSAGE CHART: MEDICATIONS TO REDUCE FEVER

IBUPROFEN DOSAGE
(ex. Advil® Motrin® given every 6-8 hours)
Weight
lbs
Infant Drops
50mg/1.25ml
Children’s Liquid
100 mg/5 ml
Children’s Chewable
50 mg
Children’s Chewable
100 mg
Junior Tablet100 mg Adult Tablet
200 mg
0-10 lbs. 1/8 tsp = 0.625 ml
10-15 lbs. ¼ tsp = 1.25 ml ½ tsp = 2.5 ml
15-20 lbs. 3/8 tsp = 1.875 ml ¾ tsp = 3.75 ml
20-25 lbs. ½ tsp = 2.5 ml 1 tsp = 5 ml 2 chew tabs 1 chew tab 1 tabs/caps
25-30 lbs. 1 ¼ tsp = 6.25 ml
30-40 lbs. 1 ½ tsp = 7.5 ml 3 chew tabs 1 1/2 chew tabs
40-50 lbs. 2 tsp = 10 ml 4 chew tabs 2 chew tabs 2 tabs/caps 1 tabs/caps
50-60 lbs. 2 ½ tsp = 12.5 ml 2 chew tabs 2 tabs/caps
60-70 lbs. 3 tsp = 15 ml 2 1/2 chew tabs 2 tabs/caps
70-80 lbs. 3 ½ tsp = 17.5 ml 3 chew tabs 3 tabs/caps
85 lbs. + 4 tsp = 20 ml 4 tabs/caps 2 tabs/caps

* Chewables available in 50 mg and 100 mg – read packaging carefully before administering dose. For example, for a child 20 lbs. give two 50 mg chews or one 100 mg chew.

Antihistamine/Allergy/Hives - Diphenhidramine (Benadryl) Dosing

Diphenhidramine (Benadryl) Dosage (ANTIHISTAMINE)
Weight Liquid 12.5mg/5ml (tsp) Chewable 12.5mg Capsules 25mg
17-21 lbs ¾ tsp = 3.75 ml Use liquid Use liquid
22-32 lbs 1 tsp = 5 ml 1 chew tabs Use liquid
33-42 lbs 1 ½ tsp = 7.5 ml 1 ½ chew tabs Use liquid
43-53 lbs 2 tsp = 10 ml 2 chew tabs 1 tab/cap
54-64 lbs 2 ½ tsp = 12.5 ml 2 ½ chew tabs
65-75 lbs 3 tsp = 15 ml 3 chew tabs
76-86 lbs 3 ½ tsp = 17.5 ml 3 ½ chew tabs
>86 lbs 4 tsp = 20 ml 4 chew tabs 2 tabs/caps

• Diphenhidramine (Benadryl) Dosage: determine by finding your child’s weight in the top row of the dosage table.
• Adult dose: 50 mg.
• Repeat every 6-8 hours as needed.
• Don’t use under 1 year of age (reason: it’s a sedative).

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