Paracetamol liver toxicity in kids

Hepatotoxicity can occur in children taking paracetamol who are very sick, given too much, or at the extremes of weight and growth range. The maximum dose of paracetamol for medically unsupervised children is 60 mg/kg/day for 48 hours (i.e. less than 15 mg/kg every four hours).¹

Hepatotoxicity is unlikely with short-term paracetamol use in recommended doses, but can occur when children inadvertently receive too much, despite the medicine being given with therapeutic intent. Carers may not be aware of these risks and consider paracetamol a relatively benign medicine. 

Advise them to:

1. Not