BACKGROUND: Children's formulations containing ibuprofen are frequently used to treat pain and fever. These medications, available over-the-counter, have the potential to cause adverse events if usage/safety information is not adhered to. This study aimed to investigate caregivers' knowledge about the safe use of a commonly purchased children's formulation containing ibuprofen.
METHODS: A convenience sample of caregivers in Australia and New Zealand, who had purchased Nurofen® for Children, completed an online survey assessing their knowledge of product information and dosage instructions available on/in the product packaging.
RESULTS: In total, 219 caregivers (mainly female 95%, mean age ± SD; 35 ± 6.82 years) completed the online survey. Responses suggest limitations in their knowledge about the active ingredients, contraindications and side effect profile associated with the product. Most respondents had a good understanding about the correct dosage to give children based on their weight and/or age, but many lacked a good understanding about the correct interval between doses and the maximum number of daily doses.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that caregivers administering ibuprofen to children have gaps in their product knowledge. Strategies to help improve caregivers' knowledge about the safe administration of these products should be prioritised in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of children experiencing ibuprofen related adverse events. Improving caregiver knowledge to address these gaps is an important issue for all health care providers.