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Mothers Beware: Is Your Child’s Medication Causing Pain?

Last month James was sick.  He had a fever and we were out of liquid ibuprofen.  Darling husband suggested we give him one of the adult pills, but the bottle said 12 and up and James is only 6 so I was very hesitant.  No, I was totally against it, even though he researched it online and the ingredients were identical.  Granted, the dosage of one child ibuprofen was 100 mg and an adult dose was 200 mg, but other than that the rest was the same.  Since the liquid Tylenol we had wasn’t bringing down his fever we went to the store and bought Motrin Chewables.

James is good at taking pills.  He is great with liquids too, but when I gave him the chewable Motrin he was miserable.  I felt terrible.  He was sick and he cried every time I made him chew an ibuprofen, telling me how bad it tasted.  How can grape taste bad?

Fast forward.

Last night I was in pain.  I had terrible cramps and my legs were sore from cleaning our garage.  I hate taking pills, but I couldn’t stand it any longer and went into the kitchen to get an ibuprofen.  Unfortunately, we only had one pill in the bottle so I decided to take two of James’ chewables.  The grape flavor was yummy at first, but as I chewed the tablet it began to release a very bitter taste and I thought I understood why James didn’t like them.  But that was nothing.  What happened next totally floored me.  My. Mouth. Was. On. Fire!  HOT!  Similar to a burn from eating cayenne.  My tongue went numb and my mouth was burning.  I tried everything to make it stop.  I drank tea, ate a cracker, at mini-chocolate chips.  Granted, I wasn’t in tears, but I panicked.  What kind of mother was I that  I gave my child something like this?  Then it hit me.  How many other moms give their child this medication and don’t have a clue what it tastes like or what it does?

The burning went away after about 5 minutes.  It caused no damage.  It took away my pain, but it scared me as a mother.  I will never give my child anything like this again without trying it myself first.  If you have Motrin chewables I urge you to please try a couple.  If your son or daughter protests to taking them, listen.  I learned a valuable lesson…if your child truly hates the flavor of his or her medication – try it.

Note:  My son’s doctor has since told us there is no reason James’ cannot take one adult ibuprofen in accordance with his age and weight instead of children’s Motrin.


  1. I give them to my kids all of the time. I will try them out. Maybe it is the brand, and not all chewable motrins. My kids haven’t complained about them.

  2. Your taste buds are NOT deceiving you. I’ve tried the Grape Children’s Motrin myself and it does indeed leave a “burning” sensation on your tongue. We no longer use it.

  3. Oh my! I never thought of taking them myself, I always thought the kids were just picky. I think I would report them to the company and see if you can get your money back or a different flavor.

  4. WOW — my kids aren’t old enough for chewables but I will definitely take care when they are. I would NEVER have thought they’d do that.

  5. Wow that’s interesting, something to keep in mind. My kids aren’t old enough yet, either.

  6. Mary Ambrosino says

    That reminds me of the time my daughter said she couldn’t see the board in school and I thought she just wanted glasses like her sister….turns out she needed them but it only goes to show…Listen to what your children are saying……SOmetimes they are right!!!

  7. My mom always says this “Well how would we know if it was hurting rather than helping…” so I guess you know.


  8. Wow. My son won’t take chewables yet, but this is good to know!

  9. OH my gosh! I had no idea! I haven’t given my kids chewables yet, but my son HATES liquid ibuprofen!

  10. I have chewed them before and they dont burn at all, maybe it’s that cheap dollar store brand you bought or Maybe your tongue is just dirty and you son is a bit of a pussy.