Children's acetaminophen is a medication that is licensed to reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains in children 2 to 11 years old. It works by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the brain and spinal cord that cause inflammation and fever. Children's acetaminophen is available over the counter and comes in the form of chewable tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and suspension (liquid).
What Is Children's Acetaminophen?
Children's acetaminophen (Children's Tylenol®) is a non-prescription pain reliever and fever reducer for use in children ages 2 to 11. Children's acetaminophen comes in many different strengths and forms. Junior strength acetaminophen is also available for children ages 6 through 12.
Children's acetaminophen is made by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. There are numerous generic versions of children's acetaminophen, made by several different generic manufacturers.
How Does Children's Acetaminophen Work?
Even though acetaminophen has been around for quite a while, it is not fully understood exactly how it works. It is known that acetaminophen works differently from any other non-prescription medications. Most other non-prescription pain relievers or fever reducers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Both NSAIDS and acetaminophen block the body's production of prostaglandins (naturally occurring chemicals that cause inflammation and fever). However, while NSAIDS block prostaglandin production throughout the body, acetaminophen appears to do so just in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Acetaminophen may also work by blocking pain signals from nerves (or preventing such signals from forming).
Because acetaminophen is not related to aspirin, it can be safely used by children with chickenpox. Also, many children who are sensitive or allergic to aspirin can safely take acetaminophen.
Jr. Tylenol Meltaways [product label]. Fort Washington, PA: McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 27, 2007.
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