What is an overdose?

An overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the recommended amount of a medicine. 

What to do if you suspect your child has taken an overdose

1. Telephone the National Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766 (New Zealand only, 24 hours a day)

2. Be prepared to answer the questions about your child and the medicine that’s been taken, such as:

  • Name of medicine, whether it’s modified release or immediate release (check the package)
  • Any other medications they have taken
  • Time of incident
  • Dose or amount taken
  • How they took the medicine (swallowed, breathed it in, got it on their skin)
  • Maximum amount they could’ve taken (include all medication that was available in the packet)
  • Weight of your child
  • Signs and symptoms

3. Carefully follow the instructions given by the National Poisons Centre.

 What are the symptoms of Nurofen overdose?

Taking too much Nurofen can cause symptoms such as:

  • Stomach upsets
  • Breathing problems
  • Drowsiness

(This is not a full list of all the symptoms that can be caused by an overdose.)

How do I know what dose of Nurofen for Children to give my child?

The recommended dose of Nurofen for Children varies depending on the weight and age of your child. Doses may be given every 6–8 hours, as needed, with a maximum of 3 doses in 24 hours.

You should not give Nurofen for Children to babies under 3 months of age.

How can I prevent an overdose of Nurofen for Children?

The best way to prevent an overdose is to always follow the directions before you give your child Nurofen for Children and:

  • Always give the dose indicated on the bottle or pack for your child’s weight
  • Never give more than the recommended number of doses of Nurofen for Children suspension (maximum 3 doses over 24 hours)
  • Always store Nurofen for Children out of reach of children
  • Leave Nurofen for Children in its child resistant packaging

It may help you to keep a diary of when you give each dose, especially if you’re currently giving your child more than one type of medicine.


This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.


Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Do not use if you have a stomach ulcer. Do not give to babies under 3 months of age. Seek medical advice for children under 12 months of age. Reckitt Benckiser, Auckland. TAPS-NA12948. RB-M-36179.