Motrin is a brand of over-the-counter medicine used to treat fever and pain in children. It contains the drug ibuprofen, which belongs to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) category. These drugs act by disrupting the body’s production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation during an injury (1). Other well-known brand names with the same active ingrediant are: Brufen, Nurofen or Ibugesic. Ibuprofen is also at times used as a combination drug with paracetamol.
Motrin has a pediatric version for children. In this post, we tell you about the variants of Motrin, what is considered safe for children, the recommended dosage chart and more.
What Are The Variants Of Motrin?
- Infant’s Motrin: The manufacturer makes this version for infants of six to 23 months old. It is available in oral suspension (liquid) form only.
- Children’s Motrin: It is meant for children from the age of 24 months to 11 years. You can buy this version either as a liquid or as a chewable tablet.
Each variant comes with guidelines about the dosage based on the weight of the child (4).
Is Motrin Safe for Children?
Motrin is a relatively safe medicine to use, provided it is given within the prescribed dosage.
A clinical and safety review of the medicine showed that short-term (less than seven days) use of ibuprofen has good safety and tolerability among pediatric patients (5). Nevertheless, it is always important to talk to your child’s doctor before giving Motrin to your child especially if the child is less that two years old.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the safety and effectiveness of Motrin suspension below the age of six months have not been established (6). Therefore, never give Motrin to a baby younger than six months, without doctor consultation.
[Read: Tylenol (Acetaminophen) For Kids]
What Is The Safe Age To Start Motrin Dosage?
Since the safety of the drug is not established among infants, it is ideal to consult a doctor before administering Motrin to babies and toddlers. The manufacturer recommends doctor’s consultation for using Children’s Motrin for children under the age of two years. Do not give Ibuprofen more that four times in 24 hours without a discussion with your healthcare provider.
Infant Motrin dosage chart as recommended by the manufacturer
|NA||Under 6 months||Consult your doctor|
|12-17lb (5.4-7.7kg)||6-11 months||1.25ml|
|18-23lb (8.1-10.4kg)||12-23 months||1.875ml|
Children’s Motrin dosage chart as recommended by the manufacturer
Oral suspension 100mg/5ml
|Under 24lb (11kg)||Under 2 years||Consult your doctor|
|24-35lb (11-15.9kg)||2-3 years||5ml|
|36-47lb (16-21.9kg)||4-5 years||7.5ml|
|48-59lb (22-26.9kg)||6-8 years||10ml|
|60-71lb (27-31.9kg)||9-10 years||12.5ml|
|72-95lb (32-43.9kg)||11 years||15ml|
Chewable tablets 100mg/ chewable tablet
|Weight||Age||Dose (chewable tablets)|
|Under 24lb (11kg)||Under 2 years||Consult with your doctor|
|24-35lb (11-15.9kg)||2-3 years||1|
|36-47lb (16-21.9 kg)||4-5 years||1 ½|
Note: This is a dosage chart indicated by the manufacturer, if your child’s doctor prescribes a different dosage, then you should follow it.
Who Should Not Take Ibuprofen (Motrin)?
Ibuprofen may not be suitable for children:
- Known to have an allergic reaction to ibuprofen or have a history of drug allergies.
- Who have asthma, liver, kidney problems, heart problem, or inflammatory bowel syndrome (7)
Side Effects Of Motrin In Children
Motrin is generally well-tolerated by children; however, there could be a few side effects:
1. In some children, especially in those who are allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen can cause allergic reactions such as:
- Facial swelling
- Skin reddening
If you find any of these symptoms in your child, stop using the medicine, and seek medical consultation.
2. Ibuprofen might cause stomach bleeding if your child:
- Has a previous history of stomach ulcers or bleeding problems
- Is on an anticoagulant or a steroid drug
- Is taking other drugs containing NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Has taken Motrin for a long time
3. Severe sore throat accompanied by high fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting may occur in some children, especially under the age of three years when given for several days.
So, always consult your doctor before giving this medication for your child, also, strictly follow the prescribed dosages (3).
Never give Ibuprofen to a child that might be dehydrated due to any reason, such as vomiting or diarrhea, without first seeing your healthcare provider.
[Read: Paracetamol For Children]
Symptoms Of Motrin Overdose In Children
Accidental overdose of Motrin can cause adverse effects in children. Symptoms of Motrin overdose include:
- Nausea, vomiting, dyspeptic symptoms, and abdominal pain.
- Renal failure
- Generalized seizures, depressed level of consciousness and apnea (8)
- Slurred speech
- Leg swelling
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
If you are giving Motrin for the first time, then it is advised to carefully read the instructions and measure the dosage accurately to avoid overdosing your child. If accidental overdosing occurred and you noticed any of these symptoms, then take your child to the doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often can I give Motrin to my child?
2. Can I mix children’s Motrin with milk?
According to the NHS, you can give your child milk or juice straight after giving ibuprofen (Motrin). However, do not mix the medicine with juice or milk as the child may not get the complete dosage if they do not finish the drink (7).
3. What precautions do I need to take while giving Motrin to my child?
- Read the label on the drugs carefully and make sure you are buying the right strength medicine.
- Strictly adhere to the dosage prescribed by the doctor, measure the liquid syrup using the measuring device provided, and not kitchen spoons.
- If you ever missed a dosage, and if it is time for the next dose, then follow your original schedule, and never give double doses or back to back doses.
4. Can I give another painkiller along with Motrin?
It is not advised to give more than one painkiller at a time (unless suggested by your doctor). In such a case, paracetamol is the only painkiller that is safe to give along with ibuprofen. But, never give them without consulting with your doctor (7).
Motrin is usually safe to use for your children, but remember to always consult your doctor before giving them to your child. Also, monitor your child for any side effects, and never give more than the prescribed dosage.
Did you use Motrin for your children? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for a doctor’s consultation. Do not use any medication without talking to your doctor.
2. Infant’s Motrin; The Official Motrin Website
3. Children’s Motrin Oral Suspension; The Official Motrin Website
4. Motrin Dosing Charts for Children & Infants; The Official Motrin Website
5. Dipak J. Kanabar; A clinical and safety review of paracetamol and ibuprofen in children; NCBI(2017)
6. Motrin (Ibuprofen) Suspension 100mg/5ml; US Food and Drug Administration
7. Ibuprofen; National Health Service
8. Muhammed Ershad; David Vearrier; Ibuprofen Toxicity; NCBI
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