December 13, 2017
Advil (also known by its generic name ibuprofen or the brand name Motrin) is a common, over the counter medicine used in children. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory used as both a pain reliever and fever reducer. Advil can be used to treat conditions like fevers, headaches, muscle aches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and minor injuries. Over the years, parents have asked me many questions about the usage of Advil and the correct children’s Advil dosage. I’ve created an Advil dosage chart that covers both at the end of this post.
Before reaching for your over-the-counter Advil bottle, here are a few things I always want parents to keep in mind:
1. Advil should not be given to infants under the age of 6 months.
2. Advil cannot be given more than every 6 hours. I do not recommend alternating Tylenol or other pain reliever/fever reducers in between doses of Advil.
3. Do NOT give more than 4 doses of Advil in 24 hours. I do not recommend alternating acetaminophen or other pain reliever/fever reducers in between doses of Advil.
4. The generic version of Advil is called ibuprofen. Advil, Motrin, and ibuprofen are all the exact same medications. For this reason, I always advise parents to get whatever option is the most affordable medication, but make sure you are getting the proper infant’s or children’s versions of the medication you choose to use.
5. Many medication products include ibuprofen. Read ingredient labels to make sure you are not doubling up on ibuprofen and exceeding dosage limits by using more than one product containing ibuprofen at the same time.
6. If your child is taking any other medication containing an NSAID (prescription or non-prescription) consult your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child Advil or other medications with ibuprofen.
7. Keep Advil and all medication locked and out of reach of children. If you suspect your child has overdosed on a medication, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers immediately at (800) 222-1222.
Most importantly, always contact your pediatric healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about medicine you are giving your child.
If you need information about Tylenol, I also have a Tylenol dosage chart.
Author: Dani Stringer, MSN, CPNP, PMHS – founder of KidNurse and MomNurse Academy