Skip to content

Arizona poison centers urge caution with generic children’s fever, pain relievers

Poison centers see uptick in calls amidst drug shortages

Experts from Arizona’s two poison centers are urging caution about use of children’s generic fever and pain medications due to the current shortages of the drugs in the nation. Generic versions of acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe, but may have different concentrations and dosing than trade name versions. Both poison centers are receiving an increase in call volume regarding children unintentionally receiving either too much or too little of the medications.

“It is important to carefully read all the ingredients, strengths and dosage information on the bottle,” said Maureen Roland, RN, managing director at the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, which serves Maricopa County. “Call the poison centers 24/7 if you have any questions about the medication or dosage information on the directions.”

“It’s easy to confuse acetaminophen and ibuprofen for one another, but they are not the same and should not be treated as such,” said Steve Dudley, PharmD, DABAT, director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center. “Extra caution should be given to make sure the dosing is correct, as there are products meant for adults and some meant for children.”

The poison and drug information centers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson and at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix provide free and confidential poison control and medication information to the public and healthcare professionals. The hotlines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The two centers serve all of Arizona and are part of 55 centers across the nation that are accredited by American Association of Poison Control Centers. Call 800-222-1222 from any location to reach the poison center nearest you.