Q:

Is there a special acetaminophen dosage chart for infants?

A:

Quick Answer

Parents.com offers an acetaminophen dosage chart just for infants. It has four weight categories that run from 6 pounds to 35 pounds. Two types of medications are listed: the original infant drops and the newer infant oral suspension.

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Is there a special acetaminophen dosage chart for infants?
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Full Answer

Because different strengths of acetaminophen have been available, overdosing or underdosing infants has been possible, according to the Food and Drug Administration. While too much of the drug is potentially fatal, too little is not effective. Therefore, for safety reasons, some manufacturers are producing only the less concentrated versions. During the time period that both concentrations are still being sold, caregivers need to be especially careful to read and follow dosing instructions.

In the earlier version of infant acetaminophen, the dosage is concentrated so caregivers do not have get babies to consume much medicine, the FDA states. However, the dosage for older children is less concentrated, so they are given a larger amount. This difference caused confusion and led to overdosing. In 2011, the FDA reported that while some babies became very sick, others died of liver failure.

The new form of infant acetaminophen has the same concentration as the children's version. This requires babies to swallow more liquid, says the FDA. Some brands come with devices to assist with dosing, such as oral syringes. However, if babies or children are less than 2 years old, their doctors should be consulted before medications are given.

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