What You Should Know About Medicines/Antipyretic

Antipyretic is medication used to lower body temperature when a fever is present.

Examples: Aspirin, acetaminophen/paracetamol (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and others.

Clinicians practicing allopathic medicine (the predominant form of medicine practiced in the US by MD's, DO's, etc) see tremendous value in the reduction of a patient's temperature when it is over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Body temperatures higher than that will likely cause aching of muscles, increased metabolism, lack of appetite, inability to ingest enough liquids, etc./ A fever higher than 104 degrees in a child may cause seizure activity, which can lead to death. Prolonged fever higher than 105 can cause permanent brain damage or death.

Many people try to bring their temperature down without the use of medications. Within limits, this is worth trying. Things that are dangerous include: using alcohol on the skin (which causes a cool sensation, but closes the blood vessels that are close to the skin, thereby actually raising body temperature); use of ice, which may also close the blood vessels on the skin, making things worse. The best way to start lowering temperature is to take off most clothing and dampen the skin with water that is neither hot nor cold, usually called "tepid". As it evaporates, it takes a lot of heat away from the skin.

Children under 12 should not be given Aspirin if there is any possibility of Chicken pox, as there can result a more serious illness. (See Reye's Syndrome ) Tylenol can alternate every 2 hours with ibuprofen if necessary, but as noted above, keeping the child in normal bedclothes, or under blankets while feverish, will only maintain the high temperature and work against the medication.

People who practice homeopathic medicine believe the body's response with a fever is somehow helping the patient overcome the illness. This is not the predominant view in the world.