Infant acetaminophen is a medication that is used to reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains in children under three years old. It helps to treat inflammation and fever by blocking the production of a certain chemical in the central nervous system. Infant acetaminophen, which is available without a prescription, is available in several flavors but comes in only one strength.
What Is Infant Acetaminophen?
Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is a non-prescription pain reliever and fever reducer. It comes in many different strengths and forms. For children under the age of three, it is available as infant acetaminophen.
Infant Acetaminophen is made by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. There are numerous generic versions of infant acetaminophen, made by several different generic manufacturers.
How Does Infant 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 medication. 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 infants with chickenpox. Also, many infants who are sensitive or allergic to aspirin can safely take acetaminophen.
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.
Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). OTC industry announces voluntary transition to one concentration of single-ingredient pediatric liquid acetaminophen medicines (5/4/2011). CHPA Web site. Available at: http://www.chpa-info.org/pressroom/05_05_11_PedAceConv.aspx. Accessed July 22, 2011.
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