Topic Overview

Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a
nonsteroidal 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:

  • Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor’s advice about what amount to give.
  • For children younger than 6 months of age, follow what your doctor has told you about the amount to give.
  • Talk to your doctor before you give medicine to reduce a fever in a baby who is 3 months of age or younger. This is to make sure a young baby’s fever is not a sign of a serious illness. The exception is if your baby has just had an immunization. Fevers sometimes occur as a reaction to immunizations. After immunizations, you can give your baby medicine to reduce a fever.
  • 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.

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

Ibuprofen dose for your child’s weight
weight in pounds (lb)
weight in kilograms (kg)
Dose in milligrams (mg)
Less than 12 lbLess than 6 kgAsk a doctor
12-17 lb7-8 kg50 mg
18-23 lb9-10 kg75 mg
24-35 lb11-16 kg100 mg
36-47 lb17-21 kg150 mg
48-59 lb22-27 kg200 mg
60-71 lb28-32 kg250 mg
72-95 lb33-43 kg300 mg
96 lb and above44 kg and aboveAdult dose

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

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

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

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

  • Blood thinners
  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone)


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine

Current as ofApril 3, 2017