5 medicines to reduce fever
We have all had fevers ever since and felt the need to lower our body temperature as quickly as possible to feel better. But this is not always the best option, as this fever is a mechanism in our body to fight an infection .
This means, thanks to this fever, we reach a body temperature at which pathogens can not develop as they wish and, in addition, we stimulate the immune system, making the cells that detect and neutralize microbes faster and more effective. .
Therefore, as long as the temperature is not too high, it is best not to fight the fever with a sign that our body is fighting something harmful. And if we lower our body temperature quickly, it will cost them more to overcome the infection.
However, in certain situations it may be correct to use antipyretic drugs, which help reduce fever. In today’s article, then, in addition to looking at when to take them (and when not to), we will offer a selection of the most effective and with the fewest side effects.
Why does fever appear?
Fever is one of the most common manifestations of diseases, especially infectious ones, but beyond this connection with the pathology in question, it is not a bad thing at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Fever is essential in our fight against infection .
But let’s put ourselves in context. A person’s normal body temperature, although it depends on each individual and even the time of day, is between 36.1 ° C and 37.2 ° C. Therefore, the concept of fever is quite subjective.
Either way, the important thing to keep in mind is that the pathogens that infect us (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc.) have adapted to grow in a temperature range similar to this. If they want to infect our body, they must have a maximum reproductive efficiency between 36 ° C and 37 ° C. Anything outside this range (both up and down) will be harmful to them.
And our body knows this, by raising the temperature, we will damage these pathogens With And just then the fever appears. He will always try to find the balance between harmful microbes and maintaining our health, as, of course, rising body temperature also affects the integrity of our cells. Not as much as bacteria, but also.
Therefore, with mild infections, a small rise in temperature will suffice, so we will have what is known as low-grade fever, known as “having a few tenths”. This low-grade fever is considered a temperature between 37.2 ° C and 37.9 ° C and is most common in mild illnesses, having a minimal effect on our integrity.
However, since it is a serious infection, the body will know that it must eliminate that pathogen as soon as possible. And there I put this rapid elimination before our integrity. Anything above 38 ° C is already considered fever and some related symptoms begin.
Despite this, far from the need to reduce it, is when we need to allow our body temperature to rise. If we have a fever, it’s because the brain interprets that we need to raise the temperature enough to neutralize that threat. And, in addition, at this high temperature, the immune cells are also more active.
Therefore, fever is something we should not fight with. It’s a mechanism in our body to quickly fight a potentially dangerous infection. The more we fight to reduce it, the more it will cost us to overcome the disease .
When should you lower the temperature?
Now, there comes a time when this fever can affect our body. Therefore, there are times when we need to slow down a bit what the brain says and lower the body temperature.
Antipyretic drugs should only be taken when the body temperature is above 38.9 ° C With As long as we are below, we should not take any antipyretic drugs. Others may be taken for inflammation, for example, but not to reduce fever.
Therefore, until we reach or exceed 38.9 ° C, no medication is needed. You just need to rest and drink plenty of water to help the body effect this increase in body temperature.
In any case, there is no need to be alarmed if we are above 38.9 ° C and the fever does not subside. There is only one real danger when the body temperature is above 39.4 ° C , at which time not only would it be necessary to take medication to lower it, but it would be necessary to seek medical attention.
What are the best antipyretic drugs?
Antipyretic drugs are those that after being consumed and flowing through the circulatory system, reach the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that, among many other things, regulates body temperature. Once there, put this hypothalamic center to sleep, resulting in a general drop in temperature With And, when you have a fever, this allows you to achieve lower thermal values.
We have already said it, but it is important to emphasize it again: you should take these medicines only when the temperature is above 38.9 ° C. If it is below, you should let the body act as it needs to, without affecting.
In the same way, we want to make it clear that the consumption of these drugs is not recommended for people with immunosuppression, who have just undergone surgery or who are in the middle of chemotherapy treatment. In parallel, it is essential to consult the indications and contraindications for use for each of them. , which you can check on the label or in the articles we will link to each of them.
Paracetamol is one of the most consumed drugs in the world. It is similar to Ibuprofen, although it lacks anti-inflammatory action. It still has a good antipyretic action, and in fact, is the best option to lower body temperature With If it works with Paracetamol, you do not have to use any other.
And is that Paracetamol has very few negative effects compared to the others on this list. It does not irritate the epithelium of the digestive system and, therefore, side effects are rare and occur in 1 in 1,000 people, generally consisting of a drop in blood pressure.
However, although side effects are rare, they carry some risk. Therefore, it is still essential to use it well and take it only when it is necessary to lower the body temperature.
- If you need extensive information: “Paracetamol: what it is, indications and side effects”
Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. It has effective analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation) and antipyretic (reduces body temperature) actions.
It is sold in different doses and, depending on what it is, can be taken freely in pharmacies or will require a prescription. In any case, self-medication is never a good option and, like the rest of the antipyretics, should only be taken when the temperature is above 38.9 ° C.
1 in 10 people who take it usually have gastrointestinal problems as side effects, as ibuprofen irritates the epithelium of the digestive system. It should never be abused, but along with paracetamol, it is the best alternative to lower the temperature. If Paracetamol has not worked, you should try Ibuprofen .
- If you need extensive information: “Ibuprofen: what it is, indications and side effects”
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol should be our main options for reducing fever, but it is important to know that there are other antipyretic medications. And one of them is aspirin, the consumption of which has decreased over the years.
Today it is reserved for the symptoms of acute dental, menstrual, back pain and, above all, headaches, but it also has a powerful effect in lowering fever. In fact, the drop in temperature is faster and more pronounced, but its consumption has more contraindications and associated side effects .
Also, children under the age of 16 can not take aspirin under any circumstances. Therefore, and considering that 1 in 10 adults taking it may have colic and even gastric ulcers, it is best to give up such an effective fever reduction and choose safer ones like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol ..
- If you need extensive information: “Aspirin: what it is, indications and side effects”
Metamizole or Nolotil is an analgesic and antipyretic drug that, depending on the country, can be taken with or without a prescription. It is more effective than Ibuprofen and Paracetamol and is less aggressive to the stomach than Ibuprofen, but its side effects are more frequent and often serious.
Thus, Nolotil should only be consumed to reduce fever if a physician has prescribed this Me Because of possible complications (1 in 10 people experience hypotension), it is not recommended in all cases of fever.
Generally, a physician will recommend the use of Nolotil only when neither Ibuprofen nor Paracetamol have served to lower an extremely high temperature. Beyond that, it is not recommended.
- If you need extensive information: “Nolotil (analgesic): what it is, indications and side effects”
We leave the Enantium to the end because it is the one shown in, so far, fewer cases. It is a powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic that is prescribed only in very specific cases of severe muscle and joint pain and in postoperative periods .
Of course, it can only be taken with a prescription and should be taken for very short periods of time, never longer than a week. Its use is recommended only in special situations of acute and intense pain, but for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action.
It does not make much sense to take Enantyum to reduce fever, unless it is very high. Also, those under the age of 18 can not take it under any circumstances. Therefore, if a doctor does not prescribe it (it is very unlikely that he will do it), it is best to turn to the other four medicines we have seen, considering that, without a doubt, the best option to reduce fever is Paracetamol, followed by Ibuprofen.