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Something’s different about that bottle…

What parents need to know about changes in infant’s and children’s acetaminophen

The FDA recently recommended a number of changes related to children’s and infant’s acetaminophen products, such as Tylenol®.  The current formula of liquid acetaminophen marketed specifically for infants will soon disappear from shelves — replaced instead by the children’s strength product with new dosage devices and guidelines.  We asked Mott pharmacist Claire Konicek to help us understand what parents need to know about these changes.

SUMMARY FOR PARENTS It is possible during the transition of old and new products that children’s acetaminophen products with the old and new concentrations could be in stores and in your medicine cabinet at the same time. The main things for parents to know are: The amount (concentration) of acetaminophen is changing.

  • The old infant acetaminophen products are 3x more concentrated than the new.
  • Using the directions from the new product with the old product (concentrated drops) could result in serious overdose and cause liver damage. Always read and follow the label directions on the product you are using.

 The dosing device is changing.

  • Always use the dosage device that comes with the bottle you have.
  • The new FDA recommended packaging comes with a syringe, and the “old” infant concentration often came in a dropper.
  • As long as you are following the individual directions and dosage device that came with the individual product, you may continue to use what you have.

The dosing directions are changing.

  • The new product packaging should give you an indication of the appropriate dosage for your child, now including children under the age of 2.
  • It is very important to read and follow the label directions.
  • Do not use the directions from any packaging other than the package your product came in. Using the directions from the new product with the old product could result in overdose.

Why is this change happening?

  • These changes are intended to standardize dosing across products and help to reduce medication errors.

Should I get rid of the products I already have?

  • You can continue to use the children’s and infants’ acetaminophen products you have, as directed according to the label on the bottle.

Your pharmacist will always be happy to help you understand these changes or answer any other questions you might have about your prescribed medications and over the counter products as well.

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