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Over-the-counter medication for children: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help


Reviewed by: Dr Tony Ganado, FRCA, Consultant Anaesthetist.

Pain and fever are felt the same way in adults as they are in children. The analgesics that work in adults will, therefore, also work in children. However, it is advisable for children to take children’s formulations. This is especially true for infants and young children, where their weight and size has been taken into account.

The analgesics that are usually used in childrens' medicines are ibuprofen and paracetamol. These can be bought over-the-counter at a pharmacists in a paediatric syrup formulation, which overcomes the difficulties of having to swallow a tablet.

As well as helping to sooth pain, ibuprofen is particularly effective at reducing fever. However, if you are worried or unsure about using any OTC medication, you should alaways ask the advice of your pharmacist or doctor.