Expert symposium: Paracetamol first-line for paediatric use

November 07, 1999

November 8, 1999 - Paracetamol is the first-line choice for the treatment of pain and fever in children, according to a leading Australian paediatrician.

Speaking at the 'Clinical Consensus - An International Update on Paracetamol' symposium held today in Sydney, Australia, Dr Noel Cranswick, Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist and Consultant Paediatrician, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, told international delegates that paracetamol in the recommended doses has few side effects and is remarkably well tolerated by children.

Dr Cranswick explained that paracetamol has a 40 year safety record. He used the presentation as an opportunity to put the use of paracetamol into context with other medications: "Paracetamol is clearly the first-line over-the-counter medication for the management of paediatric fever and pain. Aspirin is no longer an appropriate alternative in children, where there is a risk of Reye's Syndrome."

Professor Richard Day, Director of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia, agreed that it was appropriate that paracetamol maintained its first-line status in paediatric use.

"Ibuprofen might be suitable in some specific circumstances but given the efficacy and safety profile of paracetamol and its long history of use, I would certainly see paracetamol as first line," said Professor Day.
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