Pain Relievers (Analgesics) for Babies
Children have not yet fully formed organism, and therefore they are often exposed to various diseases. Of course, self-treatment is not an option, so you need to call a doctor. Waiting for a doctor, you need to somehow alleviate the condition of the child. And painkillers will help in this case. But not all of them are suitable for children.
Painkillers: Indications for use
There are many medications used to relieve pain in children. Gel, ointment, powder or suspension – any form of the drug is available to parents. Modern pharmaceuticals offer a large selection of drugs to reduce pain.
When you should use analgesics:
- Influenza, acute respiratory viral infections and other infectious diseases, accompanied by fever and headache;
- Otitis Injuries;
- Pain syndrome in some chronic diseases.
Most analgesics used in children, not only eliminate pain but also reduce body temperature. Also, such drugs reduce swelling and other signs of the inflammatory process. They allow you to fight several manifestations of the disease. Analgesics quickly relieve pain, significantly alleviating the child’s condition.
Contraindications for use
There are situations in which the use of analgesics is not recommended. First of all, this severe pain in the abdomen, especially accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Such pain can indicate appendicitis or another serious disease that requires urgent medical help. The use of painkillers in this situation distorts the clinical picture and significantly complicates the diagnosis. Delay in case of appendicitis can cause serious complications, even death.
You should not give the child painkillers for headaches, accompanied by confusion, drowsiness and delirium. Such signs can indicate encephalitis – damage to brain tissue. Taking analgesics in this situation will only worsen the condition of the child. If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Requirements for child analgesics
Painkillers intended for children should meet the following requirements:
- the presence of a special dosage form for babies (suspension, syrup, powder, gel, ointment);
- minimal risk of side effects;
- the ability to quickly reach the desired concentration and provide anesthetic effect in the shortest possible time;
- prolonged action in the body;
- lack of ability to accumulate in the tissues.
All painkillers used in pediatrics must undergo clinical trials.
Top 3 painkillers for children
Three main drugs are used as analgesics for children: paracetamol, ibuprofen and nimesulide. Each of these means has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Many pain relievers for children are based on paracetamol. This substance has an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Paracetamol begins to act 20 minutes after administration, reaching its maximum after 30-40 minutes. The effect persists for 4-6 hours. Paracetamol is approved for use in babies from 3 months of age. Newborn are given painkillers only in extreme cases and exclusively under the supervision of a physician.
Children of the first years of life are usually given paracetamol in suppositories (Panadol, Alvedon). The medication is introduced into the rectum of the baby in the supine position or on the side. The dosage of the drug depends on the age and weight of the child and averages 10 mg/kg body weight (but not more than 60 mg/kg per day).
Babies over 1 year of age can be given paracetamol in the form of a suspension or syrup (Efferalgan, Panadol). Many children will like effervescent tablets dissolved in water. Many paracetamol preparations contain vitamin C, which allows to increase immunity in case of colds. Paracetamol tablets are prescribed to children who can chew or swallow the drug. A child should take the medicine with plenty of water.
Nurofen is the most famous “representative” of this medication. It is approved for use in children older than 3 months in the form of a suspension. The drug is not inferior in its effectiveness to paracetamol. Ibuprofen suspension is approved for use to reduce pain due to teething. Ibuprofen-based baby anesthetic has a pronounced analgesic and antipyretic effect. The effect occurs 30 minutes after taking the drug and reaches its maximum within 1-2 hours. Ibuprofen suspension is given to babies from a spoon or a syringe at the dosage of 5-10 mg/kg of the child’s body weight (maximum 30 mg/kg per day). Children over 12 years old are given ibuprofen in tablets (no more than 4 tablets per day).
Nimesulide (Nise, Nimesil) is used in children over 2 years old at a dosage of 1.5 mg/kg body weight. The effect of the drug occurs 30 minutes after ingestion and reaches its peak after 1.5 hours. The product is active for 12 hours. It is used mainly for pain in muscles and joints, bruises, bumps and fractures. Nimesulide is not used to reduce body temperature, as well as relieve pain relief during teething. These painkillers are available not only in oral form. A gel based on ibuprofen or nimesulide is used as an analgesic for bruises and other injuries. The preparation is applied directly in the place of impact with a thin even layer. An anti-inflammatory gel is not applied to open wounds, cuts and abrasions. All painkillers can be taken for 5 days only. If your baby needs to take analgesics for a long time, you should consult a doctor.