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Reye's Syndrome


Reye's syndrome (RS) is a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause brain swelling and liver failure. The cause is unknown. Children are the most at risk if they have recently had the flu or chickenpox and take medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates. RS may also affect adolescents and adults.


Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or specialist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent Reye's syndrome:

  • Ask your child's primary healthcare provider about vaccinations: Infections such as the flu and chickenpox may be prevented by vaccines.
  • Do not give your child aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin: Read the label on medicine before you give it to your child. Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if you do not know if a medicine is safe.
  • Do not give your child herbal or over-the-counter medicine without asking: Do not give your child any medicine unless caregivers tell you to. Medicine that is not ordered or suggested by your child's primary healthcare provider may contain salicylates, a medicine similar to aspirin. These can cause Reye's syndrome.


Ask when your child can return to his normal activities or school.

For support and more information:

  • National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, Inc
    426 N Lewis St
    Bryan , OH 43506
    Phone: 1- 800 - 233-7393
    Web Address:

Contact your child's primary healthcare provider specialist if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child does not want to eat.
  • You have questions about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your child becomes very hard to wake up.
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child is confused and very irritable.
  • Your child has repeated vomiting.
  • Your child's stomach is painful and swollen.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.