Motrin Side Effects Scare
My pediatrician wasn't the first person to recommend I might try giving my daughter Motrin for teething pain, instead of Tylenol. Lots of moms use Motrin (Ibuprofen) to help their babies feel a little better and sleep a little easier. For me and my daughter it was the opposite. She felt worse, far worse and forget about sleep she was in too much pain.
Before I tell you what happened to my daughter, I should point out my pediatrician said her reaction to the medication was extremely rare. So much so that he's only seen about 3 in 3,000 patients with a reaction like hers.
Here's what happened...as I blogged about in a previous post, my daughter seemed to be having non stop...I'll just call them... "issues." Ear infections, runny nose, congestion, teething pain... After my third trip to the doctor in three weeks I asked if I could give my 8 month old a dose of Motrin instead of Tylenol. He said "sure" and suggested I might switch back and forth between Motrin and Tylenol. On the way home from the doctor I picked up the Motrin. I fed her dinner around 5:30pm Wednesday, and gave her the first dose at 6, knowing it would probably make her a little drowsy. Like I do every night, I took her up for bed around 7pm. Everything seemed fine. I nursed her and put her in her crib. Like normal, she was awake when I left her. But unlike normal, she didn't fall right asleep. She screamed straight until 11! She was arching her back in pain, like her stomach was killing her. At one point I thought she might have appendicitis. Nothing would comfort her, not even me rocking her to sleep. I thought it must be a bad gas pain or a poop she just couldn't work out. She was clearly tired, she'd close her eyes for a few seconds, only to jolt awake from what was obviously severe pain. Finally, she fell asleep and stayed asleep until around 3 am. She woke up again with similar symptoms and was awake for about an hour.
The next morning I put her on the changing table to change her and when I did she did a little spit up, which dribbled down the roll in her neck. That wasn't abnormal, although I hadn't nursed her yet. When I wiped up the spit up, I noticed a small rash behind her left ear. It looked like red bumps that were slightly raised. I figured she had spit up during the night, too, and the rash was a result of the spit up sitting in the crease of her neck all night. Still a little cranky, I gave her another dose of the Motrin.
By the middle of the afternoon the rash was across the back of her neck and spreading across her forehead. She didn't seem bothered by it, but I was getting concerned. I looked in What to Expect The First Year and concluded it sounded like Roseola. My husband called his mom, a RN, and without prompting her, she suggested the same thing. We told her about the two doses of Motrin, but she said she doubted that was the cause since it's extremely rare to be allergic to Motrin or Ibuprofen. I called the doctor's office, next. I told him about he nightmare night we had the night before and the rash. Since my daughter had a cold and had just broken a fever, he threw out "Rubella." Since my daughter is only 8 months old she hasn't had the MMR vaccine yet (it's normally given between 12 and 18 months of age.) He told me to keep an eye on it, and if she had another episode like the previous night, or if the rash worsened, to bring her in the next day. In the meantime, he said no more Motrin, although he agreed it likely wasn't that since, again, it's rare to have an allergy to ibuprofen.
The next morning (Friday) my daughter's rash didn't seem better, but it didn't seem any worse. We went about our day until around 4:30 when I lifted her onesie all the way off to change her diaper. The rash was now all over her abdomen and her back. The only places not covered in red bumps were her arms and legs. I called the doctor in a panic, but looking at the clock on a Friday, I knew it was going to be nearly impossible to see him. Let me just say, I love this man, I talked to him directly, without even being put on hold and he told me to bring her right over! My mom, who was visiting at the time, helped me get to the doctor's office less than 20 minutes later! The doctor was shocked when we walked in that quickly! He took one look at my daughter and got, what I swear, was a concerned look on his face. My mom didn't see it. Anyway, he did an instant throat culture thinking that since my daughter's throat had been red two days earlier, when he saw her, maybe it had developed into Strep and the rash was Scarlet Fever. The culture came back negative. Given the circumstances - the rash that appeared hours after I gave my daughter Motrin (a rash is listed as Motrin side effect) and extreme stomach pain (another common Motrin side effect) he concluded she was having an allergic reaction to Motrin - which he admitted was extremely rare. The rash is, thankfully, now all but gone. However, he did warn me that it could come back on an off for a few weeks. (Seems weird to me!)
If you're like me when your baby has something wrong you Google it. I did and it scared the crap out of me. Motrin and a dozen or so other drugs, have been blamed for several much more serious conditions. I won't share them here since there's litigation in a few of the cases, and it's a controversial subject. But I will say, that it's something you should watch out for - not just with Motrin or Ibuprofen but with anything. Be careful how you introduce new foods and medications to your baby. Only introduce one thing at a time and look for adverse side effects. Call your doctor if you're concerned and TRUST YOUR MOTHERLY INSTINCTS! I really didn't want to be that mother who was at the pediatrician's office three times in two weeks - but I KNEW something was wrong..and boy, am I glad I listened to my heart
at 7:59 PM