Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Important information for parents: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) dosage change

The recommended dosages of over-the-counter acetaminophen* (Tylenol) for infants are changing. Please review the safety tips below before giving this medication to your children.
Manufacturers of the pain and fever reducing medication are phasing out infant drops and replacing them with a lower concentration formula. The new formula is 3 times less concentrated than the old formula, so dosing directions are different.
While the older formula is being phased out, existing supplies will still be sold in drugstores. As a result, both the old and new concentrations of acetaminophen may be available for a period of time. Families may also have the older product in their medicine cabinets and can continue to use it. To avoid over- or under-dosing, it is extremely important to read labels, know which concentration you are using, and make sure you give your child the correct dosage.
Safety tips
  • Know how much your child weighs. The correct dose is based on your child's weight, not age.
  • Double check which concentration of medication you have: the older infant drops (80 mg/0.8mL) or the new infant liquid formula (160 mg/5mL).
  • The older infant drops are still safe to use as long as you use the correct dose for your child's weight.
  • Use only the measuring device (dropper, syringe, or cup) that came with the medication. Do not use a kitchen spoon.
  • Always measure medication in a well lit area.
  • Do not give your child more than 5 doses in 24 hours.
Recommended dosages for infants' acetaminophen
Concentrated drops (old concentration)
weight (lbs)
age (months)
dose (mL)
 6-11
 0-3
 0.4 mL
 12-17
 4-11
 0.8 mL
 18-23
 12-23
 1.2 mL
 24-35
 24-36
 1.6 mL
Oral suspension (new concentration)
weight (lbs)
age (months)
dose (mL)
6-11
0-3
1.25 mL
12-17
4-11
2.5 mL
18-23
12-23
3.75 mL
24-35
24-36
5.0 mL
How to use an infant dropper
1.    Open the medication bottle and remove the enclosed infant dropper.
2.    Squeeze the bulb and place the infant dropper into the medication. Release the bulb, drawing the medication into the dropper.
3.    Remove the dropper and check how much medication is in the dropper. Squeeze the bulb to release any excess until the proper dosage is showing on the dropper.
4.    Administer the dose. Place the infant dropper into the inside of the baby's cheek and squeeze the bulb slowly so the infant will swallow the medicine.
5.    Rinse the dropper under hot water, squeezing the bulb to bring water into and out of the dropper to clean the inside.
6.    Dry the infant dropper before replacing into the bottle. This prevents the medication from becoming diluted with water.
For more information
Learn more about giving medications to children. Visit Cold and Flu Center at Kaiser Permanente, 2012. Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's guidelines on safe use of acetaminophen in infants and children.
*Acetaminophen is sold under several brand names including Tylenol, Triaminic, Good Sense, Panadol, PediaCare, Little Remedies, and Tempera.

No comments:

Post a Comment