Acetaminophen and little ones: Why dose matters

An acetaminophen overdose is significant — and it can take place less complicated than you could possibly consider. Here is how to defend your baby.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) has long been a typical cure for fever and pain in little ones. It is really productive and readily available without a prescription. But, in excess, it can be harmful. Here is what you want to know about acetaminophen overdoses and little ones.

What could possibly lead to an acetaminophen overdose?

An acetaminophen overdose can take place in the blink of an eye. Look at these situations:

  • You’re in a hurry. You could possibly unknowingly give your baby way too considerably acetaminophen if you misinterpret the directions, will not very carefully evaluate the medicine, give two doses way too near alongside one another — or if you will not know that one more caregiver has presently supplied your baby a dose.
  • You merge remedies. If your baby has several chilly indicators, your instinct could possibly be to merge acetaminophen with an above-the-counter cure. If the cure includes acetaminophen, this can outcome in a dangerously higher dose. Also, cough and chilly medications need to be avoided in little ones youthful than age 6 because of to quite possibly significant side consequences.
  • You use the completely wrong formulation. You could possibly lead to an overdose if you give your baby adult acetaminophen alternatively of a kid’s formulation.
  • You come to a decision that much more is much better. If you’re not pleased with the functionality of the recommended dose of acetaminophen, you could possibly maximize the dose or its frequency and lead to an accidental overdose.
  • Your baby issues the medicine for candy or juice. Overdoses frequently take place when a baby issues acetaminophen for a thing protected to consume or drink. This can take place when an adult leaves the bottle open up or accessible soon after using medicine.

What are the recommended acetaminophen doses?

If you give your baby acetaminophen, read through the products label very carefully to determine the proper dose based mostly on your child’s current excess weight. Frequently, doses can be recurring every single 4 hours, but shouldn’t be supplied much more than 5 times in 24 hours.

What happens if the acetaminophen dose is way too considerably?

Way too considerably acetaminophen can lead to tummy discomfort within hours and liver injury within a few days.

If you’re involved about a feasible acetaminophen overdose or see early indicators or indicators of an overdose — nausea, vomiting, lethargy and correct higher belly pain within 24 hours — simply call Poison Assist at 800-222-1222 in the United States or find unexpected emergency treatment. If feasible, be aware the power or focus of acetaminophen in the products to aid poison command or the unexpected emergency responders assess your baby. If you find professional medical aid, consider the medicine bottle with you.

In the hospital, a baby with an acetaminophen overdose will have a blood take a look at to determine if the focus in his or her blood is poisonous. If needed, an antidote could possibly be supplied to reverse the consequences of the acetaminophen.

How can an acetaminophen overdose be prevented?

Ahead of you give your baby acetaminophen, consider irrespective of whether he or she wants it. For case in point, the major target of dealing with a baby who has a fever is to increase his or her convenience — not to normalize his or her physique temperature. In addition:

  • Know your child’s current excess weight. Stick to the directions and excess weight-based mostly dose suggestions printed on medicine labels.
  • Use the measuring gadget that will come with your child’s medicine. Do not use residence teaspoons — which can fluctuate in dimensions — to evaluate liquid acetaminophen.
  • Do not give your baby acetaminophen when he or she is getting other remedies containing acetaminophen.
  • Do not give your baby adult formulations of acetaminophen.
  • Securely replace baby-resistant caps soon after using medicine and retail outlet all medicine in its primary container out of your child’s attain.

Watchful use of acetaminophen and prompt therapy in case of an overdose can aid prevent a tragedy.