Monday, May 28, 2012

Children's Over The Counter (OTC) Pain Medications

There are a variety of children's over the counter (OTC) pain medications available for infants and young children. Sometimes as a parent the question you ask yourself is what pain medication is right for my child's needs?

The following list is a brief summary of each OTC children's pain medication currently available and information regarding them. I am by no means a healthcare professional, please consult your doctor or local hospital for advice if you have concerns about OTC use in young children, I am only sharing my opinions and experiences here.

MOTRIN - Motrin is available in both a children's and infants formula. The children's formula can be purchased in both pill and liquid form while the infant formula is liquid only.  Children's Motrin is noted for relieving pain quicker than most other OTC products. However it is not as long lasting and you are not supposed to give a dose more than every six to eight hours. Something I was unaware of with children's Motrin is that it can inhibit platelet production. After my son had surgery I was specifically instructed not to give him Motrin because it could prevent his blood from clotting and lead to more  post surgery blood drainage. Infants and Children's Motrin is currently unavailable due to a voluntary recall by the manufacturer. You can visit the Motrin website HERE for updates on the recall and information on Motrin.

TYLENOL - Tylenol for infants and children is available in both liquid and pill form. Tylenol is very effective at relieving pain in young children due to teething pain, immunizations, colds and flu. Parents need to be aware that Tylenol is changing the dosage of their products. Previous versions of children's Tylenol had 3 times more acetaminophen than the new version of Tylenol. If you have an older version of children's Tylenol at home it is safe to use it if you follow the dosing instructions on the bottle according to the article HERE on the Tylenol website.

ADVIL - In my experience Children's Advil is the most effective at relieving fevers in children. Like the other OTC pain relievers it is available in both pill and liquid form.  The Advil website has an excellent Frequently Asked Questions area you can visit HERE for information.

ASPIRIN - When I was growing up motrin, tylenol, and advil did not exist. When you had a fever or pain mom gave you aspirin. There was also Bufferin and Anacin (products with aspirin mixed with another medication). Some companies still manufacture children's aspirin. However it is not recommended that you give a young child aspirin in any form and I personally do not use aspirin. The biggest risk with aspirin is Reye's Syndrome. When I was ten years old and growing up in Tampa, FL a girl from Tampa contracted Reye's Syndrome and died. It was one of the first cases reported and I always remembered it, her mother had given her aspirin because she had chicken pox. To learn about Reye's Syndrome, the causes and symptoms read this article HERE.

HYLAND'S HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES - There are various companies who manufacture homeopathic medicines and remedies. I first became aware of Hyland's when a relative suggested I try their teething tablets for my youngest child and they worked. I also like their cough and cold remedy, when Josh has a runny nose I give him a dose and it stops the sniffles. I like Hyland's products because they do not contain harmful ingredients. Hyland's products are sold at major retailers including Wal Mart. You can go to the Hyland's website HERE to see the full line of their products and learn more.


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