Staying updated on changes to children’s medicine is crucial in avoiding complications. Too much could be fatal, too little could be ineffective. Recent changes to  a popular children’s medication called Liquid Acetaminophen has lead the FDA to inform parents on the importance of carefully reading labels before giving your child a dose.

Liquid Acetaminophen is often used to reduce fever, and relieve minor aches and pains from the common cold, flu, headache, minor sore throat, and toothache.

Acetaminophen products include several over-the-counter brands such as: 

-Little Fevers
-PediaCare
-Triaminic
-Tylenol
-Store brands or generics of the drug

FDA Changes Infant Acetaminophen Dosage Recommendation

The new formulation is a response to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation to change the infant’s acetaminophen concentrated drops (80mg / 0.8ml) to the less concentrated formulation (160mg / 5ml). While the new product began appearing early this year, products with the old concentration marked for Infants are still in the stores and may even still be in your medicine cabinet.

What Parents Need to Know

  • Is Your Product New or Old? Read the “Active Ingredients” section of the drug facts label on liquid acetaminophen to determin whether it is the new version (160 mg) or the old version (80 mg).
  • Dosing Device: Use only the dosing device provided with the product to be certain you are giving your child the correct amount. For example, the old infant drops containing acetaminophen comes with a dropper that measures 0.4 ml and 0.8 ml. The new infants and children suspension comes with a syringe that measures from 1.25 ml to 5 ml. Knowing the difference between the two is very important in giving your child the correct amount.
  • Questions? Consult your pediatrician before giving this medication and make sure you are talking about the same concentration

*FDA officials say it’s important to note that there is no dosing amount specified for children under 2. If you have a child under the age of 2, check with your health care provider for dosing instructions.

After carefully determining which concentration to use and being certain that you are using the correct measuring device, follow the chart below (based on the child’s weight) for proper dosage amounts.

New Infant and Child Dosage Recommendations for Acetaminophen

Measured with syringe – 160 MG/5 ML

WEIGHT INFANTS/ORAL SUSPENSION CHILDREN/ORAL SUSPENSION
6-11 lbs 1.25 ML
12-17 lbs 2.5 ML
18-23 lbs 3.75 ML
24-35 lbs 5 ML
36-47 lbs 7.5 ML
48-59 lbs 10 ML
60-71 lbs 12.5 ML
72-95 lbs 15 ML

 

Old Acetaminophen for infants – measured with dropper – 80 MG/ 0.8 ML

WEIGHT DOSE AMOUNT FOR INFANTS
6-11 lbs 0.4 ML
12-17 lbs 0.8 ML
18-23 lbs 1.2 ML
24-35 lbs 1.6 ML

 If you have any problems or you are unsure about measuring the right dose, call us immediately before giving any medication to your child at (512) 733-5437.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.