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Ibuprofen tablets, a common antipyretic

Antipyretics (/ænti.pˈrɛ.tɪks/, from the words anti- meaning 'against' and pyretic meaning 'feverish') are substances that reduce fever.[1] Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to ignore increases in temperature caused by prostaglandin. The body then works to lower the temperature, which results in a reduction in fever.

Most antipyretic medications have other purposes. The most common antipyretics in the United States are ibuprofen and aspirin. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used mainly as analgesics to relieve pain, but which also have antipyretic properties. Acetaminophen or (paracetamol), is an analgesic with weak anti-inflammatory properties.[2]

There is some debate over using medication to control fever. Fever is part of the body's immune response to infection.[3][4] A study by the Royal Society found controlling fever causes at least 1% more influenza cases of death in the United States, which results in at least 700 extra deaths per year.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Definition of antipyretic". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  2. "Acetaminophen," National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Modified 2016-08-07, Accessed 2016-08-16.
  3. "Mayo Clinic".
  4. "Medline Plus".
  5. Kupferschmidt, Kai (2014-01-21). "Fight the Flu, Hurt Society?". ScienceNow.