Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
“Over-the-counter” (OTC) means you can buy the medicine without a doctor's prescription. Talk with your child's doctor or pharmacist* before giving your child any medicine, especially the first time.
All OTC medicines have the same kind of label. The label gives important information about the medicine. It says what it is for, how to use it, what is in it, and what to watch out for. Look on the box or bottle, where it says “Drug Facts.”
Check the chart on the label to see how much medicine to give. If you know your child's weight, use that first. If not, go by age. Check the label to make sure it is safe for infants and toddlers younger than 2 years. If you are not sure, ask your child's doctor.
…your child throws up a lot or gets a rash after taking any medicine. Even if a medicine is safe, your child may be allergic* to it.
Your child may or may not have side effects* with any drug. Be sure to tell the doctor if your child has any side effects with a medicine.
Type of Medicine
What It's Used For
What Else You Need to Know