Q: Is it okay to give a toddler Advil and Tylenol at the same time when they have a fever?
A: Medications to bring down fevers, both ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (e.g.,Tylenol, Tempra) have been shown to be safe and effective if used correctly in children. In recent years, many different patterns of use have been suggested, but it is safest to just use one product as per the dosages recommended on the package.
There is some evidence that ibuprofen may work a bit quicker and last a bit longer. If you are desperate to reduce the fever and determined to use both products, then it is safest to stagger their use. For example, start the acetaminophen a few hours after using ibuprofen. But you can see how this can get confusing in the middle of the night and potentially lead to timing and dosage errors!
For more advice from Dr. Friedman, be sure to check out these questions:
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• What Are the Signs of Celiac Disease?
• Does My Child Need More Sleep?
• What’s the Best Age to Get My Kids Tested for Allergies?