Effective Fever Treatment

Effective Fever Treatment

A part of​ the​ brain called the​ hypothalamus acts as​ the​ body's thermostat. When all is​ well in​ the​ body, the​ hypothalamus is​ set at​ the​ normal body temperature. Fever develops when the​ hypothalamus is​ set to​ a​ higher-than-normal temperature. This resetting of​ the​ hypothalamus is​ usually caused by small molecules called pyrogens in​ the​ blood.

Pyrogens can come from outside the​ body (external) or​ can be produced inside the​ body (internal). External pyrogens include toxins (poisons) produced by infectious viruses or​ bacteria. Internal pyrogens include abnormal chemicals that are produced by tumors and​ proteins that are released during the​ normal response of​ the​ immune system.

A fever is​ defined as​ a​ temperature 1° or​ more above the​ normal 98.6°. Mild or​ short-term elevations are common with minor infections. High fevers, with temperatures of​ 103° and​ above, can signal a​ potentially dangerous infection.

There are several medications that can reduce body temperature by blocking the​ mechanisms that cause a​ fever. These so-called antipyretic agents include acetaminophen, ibuprofen and​ aspirin. All three of​ these drugs appear to​ be equally effective at​ reducing fever. However, since aspirin may cause or​ be associated with side effects, such as​ stomach upset, intestinal bleeding and​ (most seriously) Reye syndrome, we do not recommend using it​ to​ treat a​ simple fever. Ibuprofen use is​ approved for​ children 6 months of​ age and​ older; however, ibuprofen should never be given to​ children who are dehydrated or​ vomiting continuously.

Ideally, the​ dose of​ acetaminophen should be based on a​ child's weight, not his age. the​ dose of​ ibuprofen should be based on baseline temperature and​ weight, not his age. However, the​ dosages listed on the​ labels of​ acetaminophen bottles (which are usually calculated by age) are generally safe and​ effective unless your child is​ unusually light or​ heavy for​ his age.

Doctors often advise adults with mild to​ moderate fevers below 102° Fahrenheit to:

Drink plenty of​ water and​ fruit juices to​ prevent dehydration (abnormally low levels of​ body water). Fluids help to​ cool your body and​ they replenish vital salts and​ minerals (electrolytes), which may be lost during vomiting or​ diarrhea.

Eat light foods that are easy to​ digest! We urge you to​ find out more about fever today!

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