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Is ibuprofen safe for babies?
Q: This is not a question; I write this because I read in your web pages that ibuprofen could be used to calm the pain of ear infections, but I understand ibuprofen should not be used on infants (birth to one year).
A: Santiago, thank you for your question about giving ibuprofen to babies for relieving pain from an ear infection or reducing fever. You are correct that many medications have warnings to use them only for children above a certain age. This is either because the medicine has not been tested for safety in young children, or that it has been shown to be dangerous for them.

In the case of ibuprofen, the Physician’s Desk Reference (the standard reference book on medications) states that ibuprofen should only be given to children 6 months and older. This is because its safety has not been proven for children under 6 months of age.

Whenever you consider giving your child a medication, it is always safest to ask your baby’s doctor whether the medication is helpful or necessary, whether it is safe for your child’s age, and the proper dose for your child’s age and weight.

Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician