Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Pediatric Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Advil Dual Action [OTC]

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to ease pain, swelling, and fever.
  • It is used to treat arthritis.
  • It is used to ease painful period (menstrual) cycles.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
  • If your child is taking any other NSAID.
  • If your child is taking a salicylate drug like aspirin.
  • If your child abuses alcohol or has a drinking problem.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Crohn’s disease, hole in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding, or ulcerative colitis.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If your child is having her fertility checked.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Do not give this drug to your child if she is in the third trimester of pregnancy. You may also need to avoid giving this drug to your child at other times during pregnancy. Talk with your child’s doctor to see when you need to avoid giving this drug to your child during pregnancy.
  • If your child is breast-feeding a baby. Be sure your child does not breast-feed while taking this drug.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
  • Do not give your child more of this drug than what the doctor told you to give. Giving more of this drug than you are told may raise the chance of very bad side effects.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked if he/she is on this drug for a long time. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • High blood pressure has happened with drugs like this one. Have your child’s blood pressure checked as you have been told by the doctor.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
  • This drug has paracetamol (acetaminophen) in it. Liver problems have happened with the use of paracetamol. Sometimes, this has led to a liver transplant or death. Most of the time, liver problems happened in people taking too much paracetamol in a day. People were also often taking more than 1 drug that had paracetamol.
  • Avoid giving your child other products that have paracetamol (acetaminophen) in them. Check labels closely. Too much paracetamol (acetaminophen) may cause liver problems.
  • Follow the directions exactly. Do not give your child more paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a day than directed. If you do not know how much paracetamol (acetaminophen) you can give to your child in a day, ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist. Call your child’s doctor right away if you have given your child too much paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a day even if your child feels well.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your child’s health care providers and lab workers that your child takes this drug.
  • If your child has asthma, talk with the doctor. He/she may be more sensitive to this drug.
  • This drug may raise the chance of heart and blood vessel side effects like heart attack and stroke. If these happen, they can be deadly. The risk of these side effects may be greater if your child has heart disease or risks for heart disease. However, the risk may also be raised in people who do not have heart disease or risks for heart disease. The risk of these health problems can happen as soon as the first weeks of using this drug and may be greater with higher doses or with long-term use. Do not give this drug to your child right before or after bypass heart surgery.
  • This drug may raise the chance of severe and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel problems like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people, and in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs.
  • This drug may raise the chance of a very bad brain problem called aseptic meningitis. Call the doctor right away if your child has a headache, fever, chills, very upset stomach or throwing up, stiff neck, rash, bright lights bother the eyes, feeling sleepy, or feeling confused.
  • Different brands of this drug may have different doses for children. Talk with the doctor before giving this drug to a child.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • NSAIDs like this drug may affect egg release (ovulation) in females. This may affect being able to get pregnant. This goes back to normal when this drug is stopped. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is pregnant:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Very bad back pain.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Stomach pain or heartburn.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas.
  • Dizziness.
  • Not hungry.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Give this drug with a full glass of water.
  • Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not have your child use longer than you have been told by your child’s doctor.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • If your child takes this drug on a regular basis, give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis. Do not give to your child more often than told by the doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2019-01-21

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Last Updated