Topic Overview

Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation. If your child is allergic to aspirin, do not give him or her ibuprofen.

Be sure to follow these medicine precautions:

    • Ibuprofen should not be given to children under 6 months of age without first speaking to your health care provider.
    • Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give.
    • Ibuprofen comes in liquid, tablets, caplets, or concentrated drops. Read and follow all the instructions on the medicine bottle and box carefully before giving your child any medicine. There are different products and strengths for infants and children. The correct dose and timing of the dose are important for the medicine to work well.
    • Do not alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen because of the possible risk of overdose. Studies have not shown any more benefit from alternating these medicines.
    • If you are giving your child ibuprofen for fever or pain, don't also give your child a cold or flu medicine that contains acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Your child could get too much medicine.
    • If you are giving your child ibuprofen make sure that they are drinking plenty of fluids. Do not give your child ibuprofen if you are worried about dehydration.

Dosage: Dosages are based on the child's weight. Give the medicine every 6 to 8 hours. Do not give more than 4 doses in a 24-hour period.

Ibuprofen dose for your child's weight
Child's weight in kilograms (kg) Child's weight in pounds (lb) Dose in milligrams (mg)
Less than 6 kg Less than 12 lb Ask a doctor
5.5–7.9 kg 12–17 lb 50 mg
8–10.9 kg 18–23 lb 75 mg
11–15.9 kg 24–35 lb 100 mg
16–21.9 kg 36–47 lb 150 mg
22–26.9 kg 48–59 lb 200 mg
27–31.9 kg 60–71 lb 250 mg
32–43.9 kg 72–95 lb 300 mg
44 kg and above 96 lb and above Adult dose

Side effects of ibuprofen are usually mild. Stomach upset or discomfort is the most common side effect. Taking ibuprofen with food may help.

Do not give your child ibuprofen if he or she has any of the following:

  • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Allergic reactions to aspirin or related drugs
  • Anemia
  • Blood-clotting defect

Do not give your child ibuprofen if he or she is taking any of the following medicines:

  • Blood thinners (anticoagulants)
  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone)

Credits

Adaptation Date: 6/7/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Date: 6/7/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC