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Paracetamol Dose Calculator

Paracetamol is used for relief of pain. It will not cause drowsiness or cause your child to sleep. It can be used for children and babies over 3 months old. Younger babies must see the doctor.

The dose calculated here is for the lower strength liquid paracetamol junior preparation.

Paracetamol has various brand names - Pamol, Panadol, Paracare. Parafast- they are all the same. A lot of cold medicines has paracetamol in them, so please be careful when giving medicines to children and always check what you are giving. If you have any doubts do not give and check with your nurse, doctor or pharmacist.

Quick dosing guide - if not using the calculator

Your child's weight

120mg per 5mL

250mg per 5mL

5kg or less

Ask doctor

Ask doctor

6.5kg

4mL

2mL

8kg

5mL

2.5mL

10kg

6mL

3mL

15kg

9mL

4.5mL

20kg

12mL

6mL

30kg

18mL

9mL

40kg

25mL

12mL


What is the cause and meaning of Fever?

  • Fever is not an illness but evidence that body is fighting the infection.
  • Fever does not mean the child has serious bacterial illness.
  • Most fevers are self limiting (provided cause known and fluid replaced)

Fever to treat or not to treat?

  • Routine treatment of fever is not necessary.
  • Treat with paracetamol independent of temperature recording -
    • If the child is uncomfortable (decreased activity level, decreased fluid intake)
    • If the child is miserable (+/-fever)
  • Do not treat with paracetamol -
    • Happy child (+/-fever)
    • Preventing fever after immunisation (reduced immune response to the vaccine)

KEY POINTS

  • Use paracetamol if the child appears distressed or unwell
  • Use ibuprofen (Nurofen, Fenpaed) if there is no response to paracetamol
  • Do not routinely use paracetamol and ibuprofen together at the same time, or alternately
  • Regardless of which analgesic/antipyretic, use only if necessary for the shortest period of time to control symptoms.

Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (Nurofen, Fenpaed)?

  • Paracetamol has analgesic (pain relief) and antipyretic(reduces fever) but no anti-inflammatory activity; it is less irritant to the stomach than Ibuprofen.
  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen, Fenpaed) has anti-inflammatory effects, and may be more effective than paracetamol in pain reduction in diseases in which inflammation is a major cause of tissue injury, such as juvenile rheumatic arthritis.
  • There is a relatively small difference in analgesic and antipyretic efficacy or adverse effects between paracetamol and intermittent oral dosing of ibuprofen.
  • For children without underlying medical conditions, or with underlying medical conditions that are not inflammatory in nature, beginning treatment with oral paracetamol is preferred because of its long track record of safety.
  • DO NOT USE BOTH PARACETAMOL AND IBUPROFEN COMBINATION/ALTERNATING REGIMES.

Calculate Paracetamol (120mg in 5ml) dose

Enter your Child's weight

(kg)
mL

Dose frequency: every 4 - 6 hrs (max 4 doses in 24 hrs).



  • Check whether this is the lower strength paracetamol(120mg in 5ml) - if you have the higher strength paracetamol (240mg in 5ml) halve the dose from the calculator.
  • Weigh your child and enter it in above calculator, click calculate paracetamol dose button.
  • Give the displayed dose in ml at 4-6 hourly intervals for pain or fever, MAXIMUM 4 DOSES IN 24 HOURS.
  • Have you given your child cold remedies? - it may contain paracetamol - please check and if so count that as a dose as well
  • Use a syringe for accurate dosing
PARACETAMOL POISONING

Paracetamol poisoning is common and dangerous to life. If you suspect your child has had too much paracetamol, call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre 24/7 on 0800 764 766 or take the child to your doctor or the nearest emergency clinic. More Paracetamol Poisoning Information >>

Mind that Child - Paracetamol Dose - Safe Precribing guide - PDF File