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It’s the makings of any parent’s nightmare: empty shelves where Children’s Tylenol should be, while a child suffers at home with a miserable fever.  

With COVID-19, influenza, and RSV on the rise, there has been a heavy demand for children’s pain and fever medications. You may have even noticed some stores are out of stock or limiting quantities you can purchase. Here are some things to know as we weather this year’s “tridemic.” 

Look for Generics  

We are all familiar with brand names such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil, but this may be a time to look at generic brands, as they could be easier to find. A generic drug, according to the FDA, is “medication that is the same as brand-name in dosage, safety, effectiveness, strength, stability, and quality, as well as the way it is taken.” 

  •  Tylenol = acetaminophen 
  • Advil or Motrin = ibuprofen  

Difference between Tylenol & Motrin  

Tylenol is a fever reducer and pain medicine. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that treats fever and pain. Dany Boulos, MD Medical Director for Jovive locations in Chicago’s South Loop and Lombard, Illinois, advises: “Cough medicine often contains acetaminophen (Tylenol) and can be used for children ages 6 and above if regular Tylenol is unavailable.” 

Adult Medication 

Dosages for adult products differs from the children’s versions. Giving children adult medication is possible but should only be done under the guidance of a physician. Our providers can advise parents how to care for children during this time and can provide dosage instructions and other useful tips.

As a reminder, it is important to stay in touch with your child’s physician to monitor their progress. If a fever lasts for more than three days, the child is unable to keep down liquids, hasn’t urinated for more than six hours, or the child is having problems breathing, you should seek medical attention.