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Calpol and ibuprofen - long term use on a 5 month old

(36 Posts)
StrawberryShortcake32 Sat 04-Mar-17 20:15:21

Hi everyone
I'm in need of some advice.

My poor 5 month old DS has been teething since 3.5 months. 4 teeth coming through at once! 3 of these being back molars. It's totally not the order they are meant to be coming through at and the poor mite is really struggling.

I've tried everything under the sun including teething rings, frozen breast milk lollies, bonjela, teething granules, cold wet linen cloth to chew on. You name lit, I've tried it .
The only things that really help him are calpol and ibuprofen. I only use one at a time and stick to the stated doses but this has been ongoing for 1.5 months now and I normally have to medicate him most days.

I've recently started only giving him one type of painkiller per 24 hours so his system gets a 24 hour break from each one but I'm so worried all this is going to cause him long term damage .

He will usually need a dose when he wakes up in the morning (or he won't feed) and the same just before bed (or else he won't go down at all)

I can usually distract him through out the day with the aforementioned other remedies and dispite a very grumpy boy, it just about works.

Am I doing him long term damage by giving him one of these meds every day for 1.5 months?? Has anyone tried anything else that's worked for them?

tissuesosoft Sat 04-Mar-17 20:26:31

How many doses are you giving in a 24 hour period? I think it's up to 4 times in a 24 hour period that's safe. Teething is so miserable, your poor DS! Have you spoken to your health visitor or GP?

Pitchforktotheface Sat 04-Mar-17 20:28:18

I'd ask your GP. Such long term use isn't great.

Mummysh0rtlegs Sat 04-Mar-17 20:28:19

Anbesol liquid is very good, but you need to seek medical attention with such a prolonged period of use, only they can advise a safe regime. Hopefully a break from it soon!

TooMinty Sat 04-Mar-17 20:37:45

Are you sure it's just teething making him grumpy? Does he sleep well/nap well? My DS1 was a misery guts at that age but cheered right up when I got him into a good nap routine/sleeping well at night (one wake up for bf).

anotherdayanothersquabble Sat 04-Mar-17 20:40:14

There is enough research if you look for it, to tell you that this is not a great idea.

itstinksinhere Sat 04-Mar-17 23:57:51

I would take him to the GP if it's that bad as it may be something else causing it. DS had pretty much all his teeth by a year and it was a nightmare but he didn't need constant pain relief to function.

Medicating daily isn't 'normal' or good for anyone, especially at such a young age and is generally advised against.

TheFirie Sun 05-Mar-17 19:31:39

Let me get this right. You have been giving your baby calpol and ibuprofen almost daily for 1.5 month?

He will usually need a dose when he wakes up in the morning (or he won't feed) and the same just before bed (or else he won't go down at all)

This doesn't sound like teething, it is addiction. Physical or emotional doesn't matter. You are harming your baby. Paracetamol and ibuprofen have side effect, long term use can damage liver and I can't remember what.
I would book a GP appointment asap.

StrawberryShortcake32 Sun 05-Mar-17 19:47:44

He is definitely teething, I can see and feel 3 back molars and 1 front tooth and see the pain he is in when he's chewing on teether he's near screaming in pain.

I will only ever give him one, not both. I just alternate them so he's not continuously having doses of the same med every day.

I've got a GP appointment booked but I wanted to ask others opinions on here. my GP has misdiagnosed him twice before for different ailments and given incorrect advice resulting in a trip to A&E so I don't trust them at all. I'll see if I can get referred to a pediatrician..

Thanks again all

reallyanotherone Sun 05-Mar-17 19:53:48

Dentist might be another option.

But no, teething should not be that bad he needs daily meds.

CleverQuacks Sun 05-Mar-17 20:01:43

I would be very concerned about this. My niece was having calpol regularly (once a day) for a month and the Gp was very unhappy about this. She had to go for blood tests to check for liver damage.

TheFirie Sun 05-Mar-17 20:02:00

I am not saying he is not teething, just that his distress might be caused by an addiction to pain relief. Addiction that can be either physical or emotional.
Even if you alternate them, it is wrong, even worse, it means he receives daily doses of paracetamol AND ibuprofen.

You might also be interpreting as teething another problem such as silent reflux. Either way, stop them and be honest with your GP about the amount of painkillers you have been giving your son. Any GP will take you VERY serious the minute you tell him/her you have given such amount of paracetamol and ibuprofen to such a small baby

StrawberryShortcake32 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:26:44

Firie I appreciate that in some babies that might be a possibility but I know my own son. He's never had problems with reflux and I wasn't asking what was wrong with him. It's evident. I was asking about the long term effects of using these.

Perhaps you misunderstood, I don't alternate doses, I alternate the days he is given them. For example today paracetamol, yesterday ibuprofen.

Also why wouldn't I be truthful with my GP? I spoke to a GP yesterday on 111 and they advised not to give the same drug every day which is why i started alternating the days. They didn't take me "VERY" serious as you put it and advised me that it's not ideal but wont do any long term damage as long as I stop the doses when the teeth come through. I wanted a second opinion hence why I'm here. As I was still concerned. Plus they didn't seem to bothered and seemed keen to get me off the line.

BeaveredBadgered Sun 05-Mar-17 20:38:59

I'm a pharmacist. I do think this is concerning and would speak to the GP asap. I would really try to limit the number of daily doses, and use the lowest effective dose for your baby (try giving half of dose stated on label and see if it works).
As others have said, use teething gel, teething toys and don't anticipate pain (for example don't dose at bedtime to help him sleep).
Wait to see how his is each morning before you give him a dose.
He won't become emotionally or physically dependent on these drugs as someone has suggested but I'd worry they could impact on his liver and kidneys.

StrawberryShortcake32 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:44:13

Thank you beavered. I have an appointment tomorrow with GP. That's my concern too, that prolonged use will damage organs. I've tried all these other remedies in all the brands I can find, he's fine for 5-10 mins and then he goes nuts again. Breastmilk lollies are working the best but still only effective while the area is numbed which isn't very long.
Thank you again. It's good to get a pharmacists opinion and I'm grateful for your post.

BeaveredBadgered Sun 05-Mar-17 20:46:14

You're welcome. Hope it goes well with the GP. Teething is a nightmare.

anotherdayanothersquabble Mon 06-Mar-17 05:59:29

An osteopath can help alleviate teething pain. Might be worth looking into.

dirzte Mon 06-Mar-17 06:46:15

I had a similar thing with my DS at about the same age. He had awful teething, and wouldn't/couldn't sleep without calpol. How long the paracetamol/ibuprofen takes to work for your DS?

I was getting worried about giving my DS paracetamol every day, and then one day worked out that he was stopping crying too quickly, as in the paracetamol wouldn't have started working yet. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can take at least half an hour to one hour to work, but yet DS was settling after 5-10 minutes.

So I tried giving him a spoon of honey mixed with strawberries, and it was a miracle, that worked too lol! It might be worth trying something similar, just in case your DS is getting used to the idea of having calpol. Maybe not honey, as I think you aren't meant to give that before 12 months, but some sweet strawberry flavour?

eurochick Mon 06-Mar-17 07:11:35

Others have made the point about the dangers of long term use but I'll just add that this isn't sustainable. My baby started teething at 4-5 months. Her first tooth didn't appear until she was 14 months. And then she still had to get all the rest! Teething goes on throughout babyhood. You can't keep up this level of medicating.

Believeitornot Mon 06-Mar-17 07:17:35

How do you know he's teething? I could feel their teeth but the actual teething process - the gum would change in appearance. It was quite distinct and once I saw it I realised what was actually teething.

Some behaviour seems like teething because that's an easier explanation to understand but it could be something else. And calling something teething is always a self fulfilling prophecy because the teeth always appear at some point.

Teething pain would usually strike in the night with my dcs I suspect because they didn't have any distractions.

If it's first thing in the morning, he could be hungry. The chomping down could be he's hungry. As for bedtime, it could be he's massively overtired. They cry like anything when they're very tired.

I very much doubt that every time he cries it's because of teething.

Believeitornot Mon 06-Mar-17 07:18:34

(I should add, if you can see white spots, have you ruled out oral thrush?)

Batteriesallgone Mon 06-Mar-17 07:23:45

You need to give him a break from it.

Settle in for a week of poor sleep and screaming and stop giving it.

I've been used calpol nightly for 10 days with my 2 year old (molars) and am starting to panic about that as normally I would only do a week straight and then have a break. 1.5m is too long, especially for such a small baby.

BBQueen Mon 06-Mar-17 07:23:48

Another post questioning teething... I think lots of people put crying/chewing hands etc down to teething too fast sometimes.

StrawberryShortcake32 Mon 06-Mar-17 08:59:51

I appreciate that people are wanting to help but this is the last time I'm going to stress that he is definitely teething.
I'm not mistaking it for hunger as he's refusing food when the teething is causing him pain. Bright red warm cheeks. Wanting to chew on everything in sight and screams when he does. Not to mention the temporary relief he gets from his breastmilk ice lollies. Once the numbing has stopped, it's on with the screaming. I know my child, he's teething.
The situation is that he initially had 1 back molars causing trouble and then he got one the other side, then another, then a front tooth. It's been staggered over the last month and a half. It seems to be worse first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

He had thrush in his mouth when he was 2 weeks old which we got rid of. No signs of it coming back.

I've spoken about giving him a weeks break with DH. Good in theory but when he's refusing food because of the pain (breast and bottle) I have to question which is the lesser of 2 evils. Letting him go hj grylls isn't an option in my book.

I'll see what the doctor says today. Thank you all for the responses. It's good to get perspectives from other mothers.

StrawberryShortcake32 Mon 06-Mar-17 09:01:06

Hj grylls???? I meant hungry.

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