Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Should I give a child medicine before we go to the doctor to treat her fever, or should I wait for her physician?"

ZocdocAnswersShould I give a child medicine before we go to the doctor to treat her fever, or should I wait for her physician?


I have children's motrin from the last time she had a fever and I have been regulating her temp with this medicine since she has had this fever. I started giving to her 3 days ago.


This is one of those questions that definitely needs to be addressed by a physician in person. In general, if your child ever has a fever greater than 101.4F, you should contact your pediatrician. If your child ever has a fever greater than 104F, than it becomes even more important to talk to your doctor very quickly, as high fevers can start to cause other problems, and can also be indicative of something serious.

See a doctor who can help

Find Pediatricians near you

Also, if a fever persists for several days, please contact your physician. At the root of your question currently is the dilemma that every parent has: if I treat my child before I take him or her to the doctor, will they seem well and so the doctor won't believe me and give me anything to treat him or her? (Even doctors ask ourselves this question!) While there is no perfect answer, if the medication makes your child feel better, than it is completely acceptable to use it. The doctor will likely not change how they treat the condition at all based on how they look right that second, but will change based on the information that you provide as a parent and the vital signs and physical exam (among other possible tests) that they would do in the office. One other tidbit: make sure not to give more than the maximum recommended dose of any medication. In this specific case, alternating tylenol with motrin is sometimes recommended by doctors, but you should confirm with your pediatrician before trying. And, as always, keep track of what and how much medication your give your child.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.