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Malar J. 2008 May 26;7:91. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-7-91.

Antipyretic effect of ibuprofen in Gabonese children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1Medical Research Unit, Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné, Gabon.



Antipyretic drugs are widely used in children with fever, though there is a controversy about the benefit of reducing fever in children with malaria. In order to assess the effect of ibuprofen on fever compared to placebo in children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Gabon, a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial, was designed.


Fifty children between two and seven years of age with uncomplicated malaria were included in the study. For the treatment of fever, all patients "received" mechanical treatment when the temperature rose above 37.5 degrees C. In addition to the mechanical treatment, continuous fanning and cooling blanket, patients were assigned randomly to receive ibuprofen (7 mg/kg body weight, every eight hours) or placebo.


The fever clearance time using a fever threshold of 37.5 degrees C was similar in children receiving ibuprofen compared to those receiving placebo. The difference was also not statistically significant using a fever threshold of 37.8 degrees C or 38.0 degrees C. However, the fever time and the area under the fever curve were significantly smaller in the ibuprofen group compared to the placebo group.


Ibuprofen is effective in reducing the time with fever. The effect on fever clearance is less obvious and depends on definition of the fever threshold.


The trial registration number is: NCT00167713.

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