Is Adult Painkiller Ibuprofen Safe For Kids?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Ibuprofen is a type of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. It works to eliminate pain and inflammation in the body by minimizing the hormones that cause it. Ibuprofen is commonly used to reduce fever, alleviate pain from headache, back pain, menstrual cramps, and arthritic pain.

Ibuprofen medications are typically made for grownups but if you are a mother with a child in pain, you could consider giving Ibuprofen to numb down the pain to kids.

But is Ibuprofen Safe for Kids?

Ibuprofen works the same way as any pain medication designed for children. As long as the dosage is correct, you can use Ibuprofen tablets for children ages 3 to 14 years old. To know whether or not it’s safe to administer the drug to kids, you have to know the difference between drugs formulated for adults and children.

The difference between adult ibuprofen medication and ibuprofen tablets for kids is the manner in which the drug is taken as well as the taste and form of the medication and their respective level of potency. Pain relievers for both kids and adults are formulated with the same active ingredients. In this case, ibuprofen is the active ingredient.

Ibuprofen medication for adults usually contains higher concentration of the active ingredient. The tablet may also taste bitter and it doesn’t have any discerning smell. On the other hand, pain relievers for kids usually come in chewable or liquid form and contain flavorings to mask the bitterness of the drug. The level of active ingredient is also lower for kids. An adult tablet contains about 200 mg. of ibuprofen whereas children’s pain relievers contain about 100 mg. per 5 milliliters.

Safe Dosage for Kids

Clearly, you cannot give a whole tablet of adult ibuprofen to children. You have to cut the tablet in half. On the other hand, an adult will have to drink a lot of children’s pain reliever to achieve the right dose. So now the question becomes: if adult medication is safe for kids, how come there are two formulations for kids and adults?

It all boils down to safely administering the drug as well as convenience. When you’re giving your child medication specifically formulated for kids, you’re sure that you’re not accidentally overdosing your child. Kids cannot handle the same level of medication as adults this is why it’s important that the potency of their medication is low.

Do note however, that certain types of tablets cannot be cut for kids to take. In addition, some children are not accustomed to swallowing tablets on their own and not all adult drugs could be administered to children.

Giving kids medication that is specially formulated for their age is the best option because it’s convenient and takes the guesswork out of giving the right dosage. In a pinch, you can cut a pain reliever tablet in half to address your child’s pain. Do not make a habit out of giving adult medication to children. To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor about the right dosage of adult ibuprofen given to children to prevent any accident in the future.