Can Children Take Ibuprofen For Pain Relief?

can children take ibuprofen

What is most puzzling for parents of newborns or toddler kids is when taking care of children is the feeling of helplessness once they cry incessantly. Is it because of fever, pain, or hunger? You would want to rush to the doctor every time this happens because the fear that something majorly wrong happened would always stay at the back of your head. What many medical practitioners encounter are mothers giving their kids pain relievers with or without prescription in the hopes of soothing them. Is it safe? Can children take ibuprofen for pain relief? And what is the recommended dosage for a child of this or any pain medication?


Ibuprofen: Fast Facts

  • Ibuprofen is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
  • Doctors prescribe this drug to relieve fever, swelling, and various kinds of pain (headache, muscle pain, toothache, or symptom of a disease).
  • Its efficacy starts at least 30 minutes after taking the desired dose.
  • Patients should take ibuprofen during or after meals so as not to cause gastric irritation.
  • Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication, predominantly considered safe for anyone to take.


Ibuprofen for Kids

ibuprofen for feverYou may have heard your Pedia prescribing ibuprofen as their drug of choice for kids with fever, colds, toothache, or inflamed body part or wound due to infection.  Together with acetaminophen, these NSAIDs are commonly used painkillers for children.

So can children take ibuprofen safely for pain relief? The answer is a resounding Yes! Just make sure that you follow the right prescription, dosage, and frequency of taking the medication.


How Can Children Take Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen has several preparations that parents and healthcare providers can use to administer to children. Parents can give:

  • Syrup preparations to babies as early as 3 months of age.
  • Capsule, tablets, or caplets by age 7 (chewable or not)
  • Granule preparation can also apply to near teens, ages 12 years and above.

Note that these preparations are considered safe for kids as long as doctors advised their usage. Parents should get prescriptions with dosage and frequency instructions so as to follow to make sure of the proper intake of the said medication.


Who Cannot Take Ibuprofen?

There are medical conditions that make kids unsuitable to take ibuprofen as their drug of choice for fever and pain. Check or consult your doctor if your child has:

  • Allergy to ibuprofen or history of developing allergic reactions any medication
  • Asthma or respiratory/pulmonary disease
  • Liver or kidney conditions diagnosed by the doctor
  • Bleeding disorders or conditions that can increase the risk of bleeding
  • A diagnosed gastrointestinal problem like inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
  • Malnutrition

If you suspect your child to have any of these health conditions, you better secure a prescription from your doctor as to what pain or fever medication your child should take. This is to ensure his safety and the efficacy of the drug in general.


Can Children Take Ibuprofen? The Right Dose And Frequency

Typically, doctors allow parents to give ibuprofen to their kids 3 to 4 times a day. The dosage would depend on the height and weight of the child, and the doctor may ask about the kid’s age. Based on the number of times the drug gets taken in a day, allot a specific number of hours in between each dose.

For instance, if your doctor prescribed to take ibuprofen 3 times a day, allow an interval of 6 hours in between drug intake. Likewise, if prescribed 4 times a day, let your child take ibuprofen at least every 4 hours.


How to Give Ibuprofen to Children?

ibuprofen for kidsNow that we know the clarifications in taking ibuprofen for kids, does your research stop there? Should you feel assured knowing that this NSAID can safely address your child’s fever and pain complaints? No. here are some tips and reminders on how to manage drug usage and make sure that your child may not be at risk for any untoward drug incident.

Read the Label and Expiration Date

Although you know the generic name of the drug that you will give your child, doctors still recommend reading the label, especially during initial doses. Make sure that you have read the drug’s label and drug literature, typically included inside the box carton or syrup bottles. It should indicate the brand name, drug preparation, indication for use, dosage and frequency, storage, side effects, and other very important information about ibuprofen.

The ibuprofen preparation you should get must not be expired. If it is, you have to throw it out of your child’s reach properly. If possible, empty the contents of the bottle before throwing it at its proper disposal.

Follow the Strength and Dosage Instructions

After your consultation, your doctor gave you a prescription of the medicines your child should take. Make sure that he already indicated the complete generic name, preferred brand, drug preparation, dose, and frequency of intake.

Why? Because, for one, the dosage depends on your child’s weight. Two, there are several drug preparations that may confuse parents. For example, ibuprofen syrup has a liquid drops preparation that has 50 mg of ibuprofen per 1.25 mL. On the other hand, some brands may indicate 100 mg per 1 teaspoon(tsp) or 5mL.

So, if the doctor just wrote 5 mL, make sure that what you bought has the right drug preparation to make your dosage correct.

Know Ibuprofen’s Drug Interaction

Some drug manufacturers produce drug combinations that already contain ibuprofen. Medications for fever, cough, respiratory or gastrointestinal infection may already have ibuprofen in their formulation. If this is the case, refrain from taking another ibuprofen syrup or chewable caplet or tablet, or else you may have an overdose.

Consider the Age and Temperature of the Patient

ibuprofen using syringeMake sure that you informed the doctor of the right weight, height, and age of your child so that he can prescribe the right dosage and frequency of the medication. Make sure that your child’s temperature gets taken before drinking ibuprofen so that you won’t increase your child’s unnecessary exposure to the drug.

Use the correct measuring instrument

It is a struggle to let kids drink medicines, especially if they are not feeling well and the medicine tastes awful. Parents should find a way to make it easier for both them and their child to take the pain medication so as not to cause further discomfort. You can use a syringe, a medicine dropper, or a small measuring cup depending on your preference.


Can children take ibuprofen? Of course! We hope that this article sheds some light on the correct way of giving ibuprofen to your loved ones, especially little kids. If you have any more questions, or you are unsure if your child is eligible to take this NSAID drug, do not hesitate to inform your doctor so he may advise you on what to do and take for your child’s complaints.



Ibuprofen Dosage Table for Fever and Pain.

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How to Safely Give Ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen dosing for children.

Safely Treat Children’s Fever and Pain.