Sooner or later, you’ll encounter this situation: no matter how hard you try, your fussy or feverish baby or toddler won’t take medication. Sometimes it’s because they don’t like the taste, or sometimes they are too sick to keep any medication down without immediately vomiting it back up.
The good news is that you have an excellent alternative to make sure your baby gets the medicine they need: a rectal acetaminophen suppository.
Rectal acetaminophen is a smart part of a parent’s medicine cabinet. The medication is delivered in a small rectal suppository that gently and painlessly slides into the anus, where it dissolves to allow the medication to reach the bloodstream. It’s as affective as an oral medication.
Rectal suppositories come in four different strengths so are appropriate beginning in infancy through adulthood. A doctor can help you determine which strength is best for your child.
Here are a few scenarios where you may prefer a rectal suppository:
- A vomiting infant or child who has fever or is uncomfortable
- A child with a known fear of oral medication
- A child who is asleep but has fever
- A child who is upset and unlikely to cooperate with oral medication
- When traveling—unlike liquids, there is no mess to spill
- A child with special needs who is unable to take medication by mouth
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, May 2020
- Some children will not take oral medications.
- Rectal acetaminophen suppositories are safe and highly effective.
- They come in various dosages.
- Acetaminophen suppositories are painless and just as effective as oral medication.