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Reye's syndrome


Open all pages about Reye's syndrome

Symptoms of Reye's syndrome include being sick (vomiting) a lot, being drowsy and lacking energy, feeling confused and changes in behaviour.

Tests that may be used to check for Reye's syndrome include blood and urine tests, scans, a lumbar puncture or a liver biopsy.

Treatments for Reye's syndrome include help with breathing, fluids to prevent dehydration and medicines to help control the symptoms.

Reye's syndrome has been linked to the use of aspirin in young people, particularly children under 16. But the exact cause is not known.

To help prevent Reye's syndrome, never give aspirin, or medicines with salicylic acid or salicylate, to children under 16 unless their doctor says to.

Reye's syndrome is very rare. It can affect children or young adults after a viral illness and cause serious problems if it's not treated quickly.

Page last reviewed: 13/09/2023
Next review due: 13/09/2026