What are antipyretics?

Antipyretics refer to different types of medications that can be used primarily to reduce fever in people with excessively high body temperatures, usually due to a viral or bacterial infection. There are many of these drugs that people may be very familiar with. Widely available types of over-the-counter medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, salicylic acid, or aspirin, and paracetamol/acetaminophen. All of these medications can be used to reduce fever, and there are other medications that could be tried if they don't work.

One of the distinguishing parts of the definition of antipyretics is that they are drugs that only reduce body temperature when a fever is present. This is why the OTC medications listed above are applicable as uses for other things like treating inflammation, pain, or in the case of salicylates, daily treatment for stroke prevention. Fever reducers might not be particularly effective for other treatments if they always lower body temperature. Using them could mean lowering your body temperature below safe levels.

The reason these medications usually only work on temperature when needed has to do with how the body responds to infection. When an infection of any kind occurs, the body can begin to reduce a substance called interleukin, which sends a message to the hypothalamus to increase temperature. Fever reducers essentially override this message, and the hypothalamus responds by lowering the temperature to normal.

In metaphor, it is as if interleukin and antipyretic are two roommates who cannot agree on the temperature of the house, since Infection came to visit us. Interleukin is constantly trying to turn up the thermostat. The antipyretic continues to reject it. Note that this battle may continue for a while, until the infection is gone.

People often need to continue taking antipyretics for a few days or longer to prevent the fever from returning. Other medications such as antibiotics can also be helpful in bacterial infections as they can help reduce the infection and reduce the release of interleukin. On the other hand, some viral infections clear up quickly, and people only need a single dose of antipyretics to regulate temperature.

There are many potential forms that fever reducers can take, including over-the-counter types. They may be available in pill form, chewable tablets, quick-dissolving strips, or liquid. Many people can take medication suppositories, and this is particularly helpful in controlling a fever in someone who is vomiting.

There are some general things to remember about common fever reducers. Aspirin should never be used in children unless prescribed. Paracetamol / paracetamol is generally contraindicated in people with liver disease. People with an allergy to NSAIDs or taking any form of blood thinner may need to avoid ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. More antipyretics are not better; There can be dangerous consequences when people exceed the recommended dose.

Others are also interested in when should treat fevers with fever reducers. This is usually a better question for doctors, especially when treating newborns and young children who may have very high fevers. A balance must be struck between the benefits of the fever-fighting infection and the risks and comfort level of the person being treated. Consider talking to a doctor or calling the office to ask what guidelines they recommend for people of different ages. This can help determine when antipyretics should be considered beneficial for the treatment of fever.

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