I am a pharmacist but also a mother of four beautiful children. I have used infant acetaminophen for my babies when they were in pain and to bring down their fevers. Acetaminophen is a helpful medication, but needs to be used correctly and when changes occur to the dosing requirements, it can sometimes become confusing!
Every maker of infant acetaminophen products is changing the amount (concentration) of acetaminophen in their medicines. This means there will be new directions for these products.
These changes are being made to standardize dosing for infant and children’s acetaminophen products to help reduce medication errors.
- The amount (concentration) of acetaminophen is changing. The new concentration is 160 mg per 5 ml. This is the same concentration as the Children’s acetaminophen products.
- The dosing device is changing. Along with the new infants’ suspension comes a new measuring and dosing device called a “dosing syringe”.
- The dosing directions are changing. For children under 2 years of age, your doctor or pharmacist can give you the right dose for your baby.
What you need to know
- There may be a time when infants’ acetaminophen products with the old and new concentrations are in stores and in your medicine cabinet.
- The old infants’ acetaminophen drops are three times stronger and need a smaller dose (amount) than the new infants’ suspension product.
- Using the directions from the new infants’ suspension product with the old product (concentrated drops) could result in serious overdose and cause liver damage.
What you need to do
- Always read and follow the label instructions on the product you are using.
- Give the amount of medicine listed on the label for your child’s weight.
- For children less than two years of age, only your healthcare professional can give you the right dose for your baby.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Read the label directions carefully and always call your healthcare provider with questions!
Stacy has been at Dayton Children’s for 11 years. She graduated from Ohio Northern University with a B.S. Pharm and then from the University of Cincinnati with her Pharm.D. She did a pediatric residency at Columbus Children’s Hopsital. Stacy has 4 children ages 10, 8, 4 and 2 and enjoys reading and running.