Doctors in the United Kingdom warn that giving paracetamol-based medications, such as Disprol and Calpol, to sick children too frequently could cause them to suffer severe health problems when they get older.
Pediatrics professor Alastair Sutcliffe of the University College London (UCL) has cautioned parents regarding the misuse of paracetamol in treating mild fevers in children.
"Parents are using paracetamol too permissively. They seem to fear fever as an illness, per se, which it is not," Sutcliffe said.
"There is evidence that the excess usage of paracetamol is associated with increased rates of asthma, increased rates of liver damage, but less widely known, kidney and heart damage."
Health experts also pointed out that children being looked after by different health care providers could make them vulnerable to overuse of medications.
Officials from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said that doctors should provide parents with enough information regarding the proper time to administer paracetamol-based medications to their children.
RPS representative Steve Tomlin said sick children often receive treatment from different carers, such as school staff or even their own grandparents, and this increases the likelihood of them being given extra doses of medicines than what is needed.
He said it only takes an additional two to three days of being given extra doses of medications or two instances beyond what health professionals recommend can already cause adverse effects on a patient's liver.
Tomlin added that parents should consult their doctor before they start treating their children with paracetamol.
RCPCH spokesperson Helen Sammons explained that high temperature readings in children do not always a cause for concern, especially if it comes with a mild fever, because it could mean that the body is trying to get rid of infection.
She said that while paracetamol use is a good way to relieve pain and discomfort, it is not necessarily the case for children with high temperatures.
Speaking through a representative, Calpol manufacturer Johnson and Johnson stressed that the company's paracetamol-based medication for children is a trusted brand when it comes to providing relief from fever and pain.