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Can My 6-Month-Old Have Children's Motrin?

by
author image Lily Medina
As a professional copywriter since 2004, Lily Medina researches to expand her expertise in technology, parenting, education, health, fitness and writing. She has also taught high school and worked as a copy editor. Medina majored in political theory at Patrick Henry College.
Can My 6-Month-Old Have Children's Motrin?
Father trying to confort his sick daughter. Photo Credit Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images

When your baby demonstrates signs of sickness, you naturally want to relieve his symptoms as soon as possible. Caring for a sick baby also makes it difficult to go to the store. So if you only have Children’s Motrin, you may feel tempted to give your baby whatever relevant non-adult medication you have at home. However, any medication should be chosen and administered carefully – especially for an infant; babies’ small, developing bodies are still sensitive and delicate, and giving your baby an inappropriate medication could cause harm.

Dangers

The Children’s Motrin package only provides directions for 2-year-olds and up; Motrin did not intend the medication for 6-month-old infants. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, giving your infant a medication not specifically intended for infants “could result in serious harm.” Infant medicines follow a different system of concentration and dosing than children’s medicines; hence, if you use Children’s Motrin, you may give your infant an overdose or under-dose.

Ask a Doctor

According to Motrin, you should ask a doctor before giving Children’s Motrin to a baby younger than 2 years old. FamilyDoctor.org agrees, explaining that a doctor can tell you the correct dosage for giving Children’s Motrin to a baby who is at least 6 months old.

Alternative

Motrin also manufactures a medicine specifically formulated for infants, simply called Infant’s Motrin. The company formulated this medicine for younger babies, and the package includes dosing directions for a 6-month-old infant.

Children’s Motrin Active Ingredient

Ibuprofen forms the active ingredient in Children’s Motrin. The National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus website explains that ibuprofen can decrease pain, relieve inflammation and lower a fever. If your 6-month-old experiences one or more of these symptoms, you can call your doctor to ask about the proper dose of Children's Motrin. Never give your baby unneeded medication or medicine that doesn’t address her symptoms.

Safety of Ibuprofen

In a 1999 study published in “Pediatrics,” the journal produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers Samuel M. Lesko and Allen A. Mitchell concluded that children younger than 2 years – including 6-month-old infants – can safely take ibuprofen over a short period of time. The study found only a small likelihood that ibuprofen could cause serious side effects. Further, the risks associated with ibuprofen were not any worse than those associated with acetaminophen, another over-the-counter pain and fever reducer -- it’s the active ingredient in Tylenol, for example.

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