Acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol®, Feverall®, Tempra®) is an over-the-counter medicine used to reduce fever and relieve pain. Improper dosing is one of the biggest problems in giving acetaminophen to children. This chart, based on your child's weight, can help determine the right dosage amount, but is no substitute for your pediatrician's advice.
Caution: As of May 2011, Infants' and children's liquid acetaminophen are now the same standard concentration (160 mg/5 mL). Up until that time, there were mainly 2 concentrations: 80 mg/0.8 mL (Infant Concentrated Drops) and 160 mg/5 mL (Children's Liquid Suspension or Syrup). If you have the 80 mg/0.8 mL drops still in your medicine cabinet, they should be discarded.
Age limit: Don't use acetaminophen under 12 weeks of age, because fever during the first 12 weeks of life needs to be documented in a medical setting. If a fever is present, your baby needs a complete evaluation. Exception: Fever from an immunization in a child 8 weeks of age or older. Avoid multi-ingredient products in children under 6 years of age.
Dosage: Determine by finding child's weight in the top row of the dosage table
Measuring the dosage (in metric units): Dosing syringes are more accurate than household utensils. Use the syringe or device that comes with the medication. If one does not come with the medication, ask the pharmacist for a medicine syringe. Household spoons are not reliable. Note: 1 level teaspoon equals 5 mL and that ½ teaspoon equals 2.5 mL.
Frequency: Repeat every 4-6 hours as needed. Don't give more than 5 times a day.
Adult Dosage: 650 mg MAXIMUM: 3,000 mg in a 24-hour period.
Meltaways: These are dissolvable tabs that come in 80 mg and 160 mg (junior strength)
Suppositories: Acetaminophen also comes in 80, 120, 325 and 650 mg suppositories. The rectal dose is the same as the dosage given by mouth.
Extended-Release: Avoid 650 mg oral products in children, because they are every 8 hour extended-release.
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