What is acetaminophen?


Acetaminophen for children: Overview

Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and pain. Children need special amounts of this medicine. Your doctor may call these pediatric doses.

You can find this medicine in many forms. Your child can chew it or drink it. It can also be given as a suppository. This is a small capsule you put in your child's rectum. It may be a good choice when your child can't keep anything in their stomach.

Make sure to use the right amount of this medicine. The correct dose depends your child's size and weight.

What are some examples of children's acetaminophen?

Examples include:

  • Children's Tylenol.
  • Infants' Concentrated Tylenol Drops.
  • Triaminic Children's Syrup Fever Reducer Pain Reliever.
  • Junior Tylenol Meltaways.

How does acetaminophen work?

Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, helps reduce fever and relieve pain. It does not reduce inflammation, as do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. But it also is less likely to cause stomach upset and other side effects.

How do you give acetaminophen to children?

For children, the dose of acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) is based on the child's weight. Read and follow all dose instructions on the package label. If your child is less than 2 years old or less than 24 pounds, check with your child's doctor or a pharmacist about the correct dose.

What do you need to know before giving acetaminophen to children?

Over-the-counter cold or flu medicines often contain acetaminophen. Giving them along with acetaminophen can be harmful if your child gets too much acetaminophen. Talk to your doctor before switching between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Do not use acetaminophen if your child is allergic to it. Follow all instructions on the label.

What are some cautions about acetaminophen?

Do not take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) if you have liver disease. And don't take it if you drink alcohol heavily. This means 3 or more drinks a day for men or 2 or more drinks a day for women.

What does acetaminophen do?

Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and relieves pain. It doesn't reduce inflammation like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) do.

What do you need to know about acetaminophen doses for children?

  • Your child's over-the-counter medicine will have a "Drug Facts" label. On the label, you'll find directions for your child's age or weight, the dose to give, and how often to give the dose.
  • Do not use this medicine if your child is allergic to it.
  • Talk to your doctor before you give your child the medicine if:
    • Your baby is younger than 3 months and has a fever. Your doctor will make sure that the fever is not a sign of a serious problem.
    • Your child has kidney or liver disease.
  • Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with the medicine.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you give your child any other medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medicines, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements your child takes. Taking some medicines together can cause problems.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.