Dosing Guide for Common “over-the-counter” Medications

If your child takes an overdose or unknown dose of any medication, call NYC Poison Control Center 212-POISONS (764-7667) or 1-800-222-1222

ACETAMINOPHEN
(Most Common Brand Name: Tylenol)
Dosage: Every four (4) hours.
Please be aware that there are two liquid dosage strengths of acetaminophen. The
concentrated Infants’ drops have 80 mg per 0.8 ml (dropperful) and the Children’s syrup or suspension has 160 mg per 5 ml (teaspoon). Make sure you know which strength you are using so that you can look up the dose properly.
When to use:
Acetaminophen should be used to reduce fever and relieve pain. Acetaminophen has no anti- inflammatory actions. 
Side effects: Acetaminophen taken at proper doses is very safe. Only if an overdose of the medication occurs is there a likelihood of any side effect. Beware - large overdoses of acetaminophen can be deadly. This medicine should be kept out of reach of your children.
 
*Never treat fever in an infant less than three months of age without first speaking with the physician.

***Note: For Infants’ Drops, use dropper supplied with medication ***

IBUPROFEN
(Most Common Brand Names: Motrin and Advil)
DO NOT GIVE TO INFANTS LESS THAN 6 MONTHS OLD.
Dosage: The dosage is every 6 to 8 hours.
Please be aware that there are two liquid strengths of ibuprofen (concentrated infant drops and children’s suspension) and several strengths of tablets (chewable tablets, junior strength tablets, and adult tablets). Because of this, dosing errors are possible if you choose the wrong dosage strength. Therefore, we advise you make sure you properly look up the dose.
When to use: Ibuprofen should be used to control high fevers which are unresponsive to acetaminophen (Tylenol). It can also be used to control pain and reduce inflammation.
Side Effects: May cause stomach upset, other side effects are rare.

 Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen both work to relieve moderate aches and pains as well as lower almost any fever.  Both come in chewable tablets and liquids, however only Tylenol comes in a suppository form.  Although acetaminophen and ibuprofen accomplish the same goals, they are different chemicals so you can alternate between them or even use them together.   
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen should not be given to relieve congestion or runny noses, unless it is marketed as a 'Cold Remedy'.  In these cases the medicine is supplemented with some decongestants.  We do not recommend these medications for children younger than 6 year of age!

CHILDREN’S BENADRYL ALLERGY LIQUID
(Generic Name: Diphenhydramine)
(Antihistamine)
DO NOT GIVE TO INFANTS LESS THAN 6 MONTHS OLD.
Dosage: Every four (4) hours.
Please be aware that there is a Children’s Benadryl Liquid in pre-filled spoons. 
When to use: Benadryl is an antihistamine medication which is particularly good at relieving symptoms due to upper respiratory allergies such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, itching of the nose and throat, and may help coughs due to post-nasal drainage. It is also useful to treat itching due to any cause, especially with rashes due to allergy or viruses (example: Chicken Pox). Use Benadryl to treat insect bites and stings.
Side Effects: Benadryl may cause drowsiness or, less commonly, agitation or insomnia. Other side
effects are rare. Several years ago it was thought that antihistamines such as Benadryl should not be given to children with asthma. This has now been disproved. Actually, it may control nasal allergies of children with asthma.

COUGH SUPPRESSANT
(Most Common Brand Name: Delsym Cough Suppressant 12 hour)
DO NOT GIVE TO CHILDREN LESS THAN 2 YEARS OLD.
Most cough preparations contain ingredients, such as antihistamines and decongestants, in addition to a cough suppressant which aren’t always needed. Also, if you are already giving your child other allergy medications, you may be overdosing them by using a combination cold and cough syrup. Delsym contains only a cough suppressant and is safe to give with other over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications your child may be taking.
Dosage: Every 12 hours.
When to use: Use for non-productive cough which is interfering with your child’s ability to sleep.
Side Effects: The active ingredient in medications used to suppress a cough is dextromethorphan. It is quite safe. Rarely, it has been known to cause slight drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness.


DELSYM COUGH SUPPRESSANT 12 HOUR
(Dextromethorphan)

Age

Dosage

2 year - 5 year

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml)

6 year - 11 year

1 tsp (5 ml)

12 + year

2 tsp (10 ml)

Our Dosing Guide gives dosages for common over-the-counter medications used in children. These medications are dosed according to weight. To calculate your child’s dose, look up his or her weight in the Dosing Guide and read across to the proper dose for each medicine listed. If you do not know your child’s weight and if your child is too young to stand on bathroom scales, a simple way to determine his or her weight is to first weigh both you and your child as you hold him. Then weigh yourself alone. Subtracting these two numbers will give you a fairly accurate weight for your child. The doses listed in the Dosing Chart are standard doses which are safe for your child.  

Commonly used abbreviations:
mg=milligram
tsp=teaspoon
ml=milliliter
cc=cubic centimeter
dppr=dropperful
1 cc=1 ml
1 tsp=5 cc

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