An Over-The-Counter Medication Almost Killed A Boy With Chicken Pox

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 1, 2022

In general, over-the-counter medications are great to have on hand in case of emergencies, and they can be particularly handy when children get sick but they’re not always safe or effective. 

One parent learned this the hard way when her 3-year-old son got chicken pox, and he turned to an over-the-counter ointment in order to relieve his discomfort but things didn’t go as planned, resulting in a trip to the emergency room that almost cost him his life.

The Night He Was Rushed To The Hospital By His Mother

Tommy’s mother took him to the hospital when his temperature spiked and he couldn’t keep down food or fluids. He was dehydrated and his liver isn’t functioning properly. 

An Over-The-Counter Medication Almost Killed A Boy With Chicken Pox

The doctors told her that if she had waited any longer, Tommy would have died. That night, doctors gave him fluids through an IV and pumped his stomach in order to cleanse it of the drug. 

But they warned that at one point Tommy could stop breathing due to complications from the overdose. 

The photo his mother posted on Facebook

A mother has taken to social media to warn other parents never to give their children ibuprofen to relieve chickenpox symptoms after her son was left fighting for his life. 

She posted pictures of her son on Facebook as she warned others of the dangers of using over-the-counter drugs. The images show what she claims are the worst photos ever taken of her son Tommy who is just four years old. 

He is now thankfully back at home recovering with mum and dad by his side following hospital treatment. In the post, she says she will be putting these pictures up so that people can see what ibuprofen can do to your child’s organs if you take it when you have chickenpox.

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The name of the drug he was given is?

The name of the drug is Ibuprofen. It is an over-the-counter medication that is used to help with temperature. The male nurse told her to help with the temperature, and she gave him the medication. 

He could have ibuprofen and Calpol together. However, the boy had an adverse reaction to the medication and it almost killed him. The boy is now in stable condition, but the experience was a scary one for his parents.

What parents should know about medication safety

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your kids safe and healthy. But sometimes, even the most well-meaning parents can make mistakes. And one of those mistakes could be giving their child an over-the-counter medication. 

Here are some tips on what you should know about OTC meds: 

  • First, before giving your child any medicine, check the label carefully to see if it is recommended for children under six years old. If not, call your doctor or pharmacist before giving it to them. 
  • Second, never give medicine that says Do not take grapefruit juice unless directed by a doctor or pharmacist. Grapefruit juice can change how much of the drug is absorbed into your body — and how much will be given to your child. So always read the label first. 
  • Finally, always read labels because they tell you important information like when to take the medicine and whether it needs to be taken with food or without food.

How you can help spread awareness

As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of over-the-counter medication. In particular, chicken pox can be extremely dangerous if not treated properly. 

If you or your child is experiencing chicken pox, please see a doctor immediately. You can also help spread awareness by sharing this story with other parents. Be sure to check out our blog for more information on preventing and treating chicken pox. 

Parents often rely on over-the-counter medications when they notice symptoms in their children. However, sometimes these medications can have unexpected side effects that are more severe than the condition they’re meant to treat. 


🔵Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (n.d) Chickenpox (Varicella) (Available Online):

🔵Cleveland Clinic (n.d) Chickenpox (Available Online):

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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