Children's Ibuprofen Side Effects


Like any other drug, children’s ibuprofen, more commonly referred to as Children’s Motrin, has been tested to track the types and rate of occurrences of side effects. As with any other medicine, children should be closely monitored when taking ibuprofen. Parents or guardians should be the only people to administer the drug, since overdose or misuse can increase the chance of side effects. Children who are taking ibuprofen for the first time should be closely monitored for any allergy related side effects.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects in children’s ibuprofen drops, suspension and chewable tablets include constipation, diarrhea, gas, nausea and an upset stomach. Parents should also monitor children for dizziness, headache and heartburn. While all of these side effects are common, they should not last long or be intensely painful. If the side effects seem severe, the reaction may be more than just a traditional medicine reaction.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common side effects, found in nearly 25 percent of patients who take ibuprofen. In addition to the constipation, diarrhea, nausea, some patients also experience dyspepsia, abdominal pain and flatulence. To avoid common gastrointestinal side effects, give ibuprofen to a child with food instead of on an empty stomach. This may help ease the disturbance that the drug causes in their stomach and intestines. In rare cases, some patients also experience more serious side effects including ulcers, hemorrhages and pancreatis.

Allergic Reactions

While some side effects are common, others might quickly raise a red flag to signify an allergic reaction. If a child experiences any side effects that appear to be caused by an allergic reaction, seek medical attention. These side effects include: hives, trouble breathing, fainting, tightness in chest, swelling of the mouth, lips or tongue and a fast or irregular heartbeat. Parents should also be on the lookout for severe pains in the stomach, chest or head, a stiff neck, a sudden onset of severe vomiting and unusual tiredness or weakness. While some of these effects may just be rare cases of extreme side effects, it’s always good to play it safe and touch base with a doctor.

Rare Side Effects

Rare side effects were reported in less than 1 percent of patients tested. Ocular side effects including blurred vision, scotomata and diplopia occurred in an almost immeasurable percentage of patients while they were on children’s ibuprofen. Other rare side effects include dermatologic side effects, including rashes and alopecia.

Renal Side Effects

A case-controlled study shows that patients who consume large amounts of ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or pills containing NSAID throughout their life are at a higher risk for end-stage renal disease. Children and adults with reduced renal function are more vulnerable to renal side effects when taking ibuprofen.

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