Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Leukemia Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with leukemia include:

  • Acetaminophen: often the best drug for mild pain in leukemia patients
  • Ibuprofen: may increase the risk of bleeding in leukemia
  • Naproxen (must be 13 or older): may increase the risk of bleeding
  • Narcotics and prescription medicines

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

  • Ibuprofen decreases pain, fever and inflammation.
  • It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID).
  • Dosing for children over 6 months of age is 7-10 mg per kilogram (4-5 mg per pound) of body weight every 6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Always follow the package instructions.
  • Ask your doctor first if it is OK to take this medicine.
  • Brand names include Advil, Motrin and Nuprin.


Continue to Leukemia Taking Control

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Leukemia References
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  7. Pui CH, Pei D, Sandlund JT, et al. Risk of adverse events after completion of therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Nov 1;23(31):7936-41. [16258093]
  8. Redaelli A, Botteman MF, Stephens JM, Brandt S, Pashos CL. Economic burden of acute myeloid leukemia: a literature review. Cancer Treat Rev. 2004 May;30(3):237-47. [15059647]
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