Six Medications Your Baby Should Never Take

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No parent wants to see their child suffer. So sometimes, when they’re sick, you might think about giving them medicine. But here are six medications you should never give to a baby.

OTC cough and cold medicines

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against giving any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines to babies. Studies show that they don't help soothe symptoms in kids this age, and that they instead can cause harm, especially when a child mistakenly gets more than the recommended dose.

A baby can suffer serious effects such as rapid heart rate, convulsions, and even death.


Extra acetaminophen

Some medicines contain acetaminophen to help ease fever and pain, so be careful not to give your baby an additional separate dose of acetaminophen if he or she is already taking another medication.

Just to be safe, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any medicine. 

Anything that is expired

Throw away all medications -- prescription and OTC alike -- as soon as they expire.

Be sure to ask your pharmacist how to discard the medication, since flushing pills or syrups may contaminate ground water and throwing them in the trash may be dangerous around a child who is mobile.  

Adult medications

Never, ever give your child a smaller dose of adult medication. The concentrations are completely different in infant and adult medications and can cause serious harm to your child.

If the label doesn't indicate an appropriate dose for the weight and age of your child, don't give her that medication.

Anti-nausea medications

Don't give your baby anti-nausea medication unless his or her doctor specifically recommends it. Most bouts of vomiting are short-lived, and babies and children usually handle them fine without any medication.

If your child is showing signs of dehydration from vomiting, contact your doctor immediately.



Sedatives, such as Benadryl, are a common remedy for cranky babies who have to travel long distances with their parents. But Darshak Sanghavi, a pediatrician and author says, “According to a good randomized trial of Benadryl to promote sleep in infants, the drug didn’t really work any better than a placebo.