Can You Give Calpol and Nurofen with Antibiotics?

Can You Give Calpol and Nurofen with Antibiotics: A Parent's Guide

Are you wondering if you can give Calpol and Nurofen along with antibiotics? Understanding the interactions between these medications is crucial for proper management of pain, fever, and infections. In this article, we delve into the functions, uses, and precautions associated with Calpol, Nurofen, and antibiotics to provide you with comprehensive information on these commonly used medications.

Comparison of Calpol and Nurofen

  • Calpol:
    • Active Ingredient: Calpol contains paracetamol.
    • Function: It primarily works as a pain reliever and fever reducer.
    • Mode of Action: Paracetamol acts on the brain to reduce pain perception and lower fever.
    • Common Uses: Calpol is often used for mild to moderate pain (such as headaches, toothaches, or muscle aches) and to manage fever.
    • Not Linked To: It is not linked to constipation, shortness of breath, bloating, diarrhea, blurred vision, or heartburn.
    • Dosage: The recommended dosage varies based on age and weight.
    • Over-the-Counter Availability: You can purchase Calpol without a prescription.
  • Nurofen:
    • Active Ingredient: Nurofen contains ibuprofen.
    • Function: It is both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory agent.
    • Mode of Action: Ibuprofen reduces pain, inflammation, and fever by inhibiting certain enzymes.
    • Common Uses: Nurofen is effective for various types of pain, including headaches, dental pain, and menstrual cramps. It is also used to manage fever.
    • Not Linked To: It is not linked to constipation, shortness of breath, bloating, or diarrhea.
    • Dosage: Follow the recommended dosage instructions based on age and weight.
    • Over-the-Counter Availability: Nurofen can be purchased without a prescription.

In summary, Calpol (paracetamol) is mainly used for pain and fever, while Nurofen (ibuprofen) provides pain relief, reduces inflammation, and is often preferred for teething discomfort due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Two bottles of childrens medicine, one brown and one clear.

IMG Source: medapti.co.uk

Antibiotics and Painkillers

  • Antibiotics:
    • Function: Antibiotics combat bacterial infections in the body.
    • Mode of Action: They target various aspects of bacterial cells like cell walls, ribosomes, or DNA replication enzymes.
    • Classification: Categories include cephalosporins, lipopeptides, glycopeptides, macrolides, aminoglycosides.
    • Use Cases: Essential for treating infectious diseases caused by bacteria.
    • Resistance: Careful selection crucial to prevent resistance development.
  • Painkillers:
    • Function: Anti-inflammatory agents providing relief from pain and inflammation.
    • Categories: NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, opiates, specific agents.
    • Mechanism: NSAIDs inhibit COX enzymes, reducing prostaglandin production and alleviating pain.
    • Examples: Common options are Paracetamol and NSAIDs.
    • Usage: Given for pain relief, do not combat infections directly.

A slide titled Antibiotics and Painkillers with a table showing the learning outcomes for each grade level.

IMG Source: cloudfront.net

Safety Tips for Common Medicines

  • Paracetamol (Calpol):
    • Paracetamol is safe with antibiotics but consult a doctor if taking specific meds.
    • Avoid giving paracetamol and ibuprofen together.
  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen):
    • Ibuprofen can be given with paracetamol but not simultaneously.
    • Consult a healthcare provider before alternating between paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Antibiotics:
    • Antibiotics interact minimally with paracetamol and ibuprofen.
    • Give antibiotics on an empty stomach and ibuprofen with food.
    • Consult a healthcare provider if concerned.


  • Never give aspirin to a child under 16 without prescription.
  • Be cautious with multiple paracetamol-containing medicines.
  • Maintain a diary of medicines given.

WonderCare logo with Calpol and Nurofen boxes.

IMG Source: wondercare.ie

In conclusion, the co-administration of Calpol, Nurofen, and antibiotics requires careful consideration to ensure the best outcomes for patients. While Paracetamol (Calpol) and Ibuprofen (Nurofen) can be taken with antibiotics under certain circumstances, it is essential to seek guidance from a healthcare provider to avoid potential interactions or adverse effects. Remember to always follow recommended dosages, avoid giving certain medications simultaneously, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about combining these medications.

By staying informed and cautious, you can effectively manage pain, fever, and bacterial infections while prioritizing your health and well-being.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *