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About paracetamol for children - Brand names: Calpol, Disprol, Hedex, Medinol, Panadol

Paracetamol is a common painkiller for children. It's often used to treat headaches, stomach ache, earache, and cold symptoms. It can also be used to bring down a high temperature (fever).

Paracetamol for children is available as tablets or as a syrup.

Paracetamol also comes as suppositories (medicine that you push gently into your child's bottom). Suppositories are useful to relieve pain and a high temperature in children who find it difficult to swallow tablets or syrup, or who are being sick a lot.

You can give your child a suppository from the age of 3 months.

Paracetamol tablets (including soluble tablets), syrup and suppositories are available on prescription and to buy from shops and pharmacies.

For over-16s, find out more about paracetamol for adults.

Key facts

  • Paracetamol for children comes in different strengths, including 2 strengths of syrup. The strength and dosage depends on your child's age (and sometimes weight), so always check the instructions carefully.
  • Your child should start to feel better about 30 minutes after taking tablets or syrup. Suppositories can take up to 60 minutes to work fully.
  • Do not give your child any other medicines that contain paracetamol. These include some cough and cold medicines, so check the ingredients carefully.
  • Paracetamol for children is a common medicine, but it can be dangerous if your child takes too much. Be careful to keep it out of your child's reach.
  • Give paracetamol to your child if they are in pain.
  • You can give paracetamol to your child if they have a high temperature and they feel distressed or unwell.

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2022
Next review due: 15 June 2025