Mother, Know the Rules for Using Ibuprofen in Children

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be purchased at pharmacies without a doctor's prescription. This drug is safe for consumption by children if given with the right rules and doses. Come on, Mother, first understand the rules for using ibuprofen in children.

Ibuprofen is a fever-lowering drug that can be taken by children. Fever is one of the most common complaints experienced by children. This is a condition when the child's body temperature rises to more than 38o C, due to an inflammatory process or infection.

Mothers don't need to be too worried or afraid if your little one has a fever, yes. Fever is actually a form of protection for the child's body to fight bacteria or viruses. Usually, fever can also go down quickly using fever-reducing drugs, such as ibuprofen.

In addition to fever, ibuprofen can also be used to relieve pain due to toothache, teething, headaches, injuries, and broken bones in children. However, ibuprofen should not be used if the child has had an allergic reaction to this drug.

Rules for Using Ibuprofen in Children

The following are the rules for using ibuprofen in children that are important for mothers to know:

  • Read and follow the rules and instructions for use listed on the ibuprofen packaging label.
  • Check the expiration date on the ibuprofen package. Do not use drugs that have expired. Throw it away and buy a new one.
  • Give ibuprofen with food or after meals. Avoid giving your child ibuprofen on an empty stomach.
  • Give ibuprofen at the appropriate dose on the package label.
  • Make sure your child is not taking other medicines that also contain ibuprofen. Always read what content is in children's medicines.
  • Consult the use of ibuprofen with your doctor first if your child has ever had allergies to drugs or has certain health conditions, such as asthma or congenital heart disease.
  • Avoid giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months of age without a doctor's approval.

When trying to reduce a child's fever, avoid combining ibuprofen with other fever-reducing drugs, such as paracetamol. Both drugs are practically equally effective. However, some studies show that ibuprofen can reduce fever more quickly than paracetamol, in the first 4 hours after taking the drug.

Ibuprofen Dosage for Children

Usually, the dose for children listed on the drug packaging label shows the dose based on body weight or age. However, the more recommended dose is based on body weight.

The pediatric dose of ibuprofen is 5–10 mg/kgBW each time. So, if your child weighs 10 kg, you can give him 50–100 mg of ibuprofen. However, if you don't know for sure your weight, you can use the following age-based measurements:

  • 6–11 months (6–7 kg): 50 mg
  • 12–23 months (8–10 kg): 75 mg
  • 2–3 years (11–16 kg): 100 mg
  • Ages 4-5 years (17–21 kg): 150 mg
  • Ages 6–8 years (22–27 kg): 200 mg
  • 9–10 years (28–32 kg): 250 mg
  • 11 years old (33–43 kg): 300 mg

Absorption of ibuprofen takes 30–60 minutes after administration to work. After that, this drug will last and work for 6-8 hours in the body. Therefore, you can repeat the dose as above up to 3-4 times a day, but not more.

If after being given 1 dose of ibuprofen, your little one spit it out, you can calm him down first, then give another 1 dose of the same. However, if the ibuprofen has been swallowed and your child vomits, you need to wait up to 6 hours before giving it back, unless you see the ibuprofen tablet vomited up whole.

When giving ibuprofen syrup to a child, remember to always use the measuring tool included in the ibuprofen medicine package, such as a spoon or medicine cup. Do not use teaspoons or tablespoons at home to avoid improper dosing.

Things to do when your child has a fever

In addition to giving your child ibuprofen, there are several things you can do to help reduce fever in your child, including:

  • Give the child adequate drinking intake, so that he does not experience a lack of fluids, marked by the child urinating 4-6 times a day with clear urine color.
  • Wear light clothing and then cover the child's body. On the other hand, avoid wearing clothes that are too thick because they can prevent body heat from escaping.
  • Warm compresses on the child's head / armpit / groin area so that the skin pores open, body heat can escape, and body temperature decreases.
  • Make sure the temperature of the child's bedroom is comfortable, not too hot and not too cold.
  • Make sure your child gets enough rest, but doesn't have to stay in bed all the time.

To reduce fever in children, you can follow some of the ways above and also give your child ibuprofen. However, you need to pay attention to and follow the rules for using ibuprofen in children correctly, right, so that the medicine can work effectively and safely.

If your child's symptoms or fever do not improve after being given ibuprofen, immediately take him to the doctor for proper examination and treatment.

Written by:

Dr. Ellen Wijaya, SpA