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Children's Advil®

January 4, 2021

Children's Advil®, whose main active ingredient is ibuprofen, is part of a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Advil® makes three over-the-counter pediatric products, all containing ibuprofen:

  • Children's Advil® Suspension
  • Children's Advil® Cold
  • Infants' Advil® Concentrated Drops

The Children's Advil® Suspension and Children's Advil® Cold medicines both contain 100 mg/ 5 mL ibuprofen. The Infants' Advil® Concentrated Drops contain 50 mg/1.25 mL ibuprofen.

The label on these medications carries an alert, warning parents to stop the medication and seek medical help immediately if the following allergic reactions occur:

  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • Asthma (wheezing)
  • Shock
  • Skin reddening
  • Rash
  • Blisters

Other warnings on the label alert parents to the occurrence of stomach bleeding because NSAIDs may cause severe bleeding of the stomach. The possibility of stomach bleeding is increased if the child has had ulcers, is on medication to thin the blood, or is taking other NSAIDs.

The label also warns of the occurrence of a continuing sore throat or a sore throat along with nausea, headache, high fever and vomiting.

Children's Advil® and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

NSAIDs including Children's Advil® are known to be linked to a rare, life-threatening allergic reaction of the skin called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Parents should know the symptoms of SJS and seek immediate medical help for their child if he or she has a flu-like illness followed by:

  • Flat red and purple rash, often in the shape of targets
  • Rash that becomes raised and blisters
  • Blisters and skin that begin to peel
  • Swelling of the face and tongue
  • Skin becomes very painful
  • Mucous membranes that develop blisters in the:
    • Mouth
    • Ears
    • Eyes and eye lids
    • Nose
    • Throat
    • Esophagus
    • Genitalia

If these symptoms appear, the child will most likely be treated in a hospital burn unit to care for the surface areas of the body where the skin has sloughed. Fluid and nutrients may be given intravenously. Caregivers keep the wounded areas of the skin immaculately clean to prevent infection. They gently remove the dead areas of skin and cover the open lesions with soothing cool compresses to help control the pain.

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