Fever

An increase in body temperature above normal (98.6 degrees F), usually caused by disease.

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(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Penicillin reduces the risk of streptococcal throat infections and attacks of rheumatic fever in people who have already had a bout of rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is a rare complication of throat infection, that can damage the heart. People who have had rheumatic fever can suffer from it again following streptococcal throat infection if they do not receive regular penicillin. Penicillin for prevention can be given by injection or as tablets. Taking tablets is easier but might not work as well as injections. The review of trials compared different ways of giving penicillin. Penicillin seemed to work better as injections than as tablets. Injections given every two or three weeks worked better than when given every four weeks. However, more research is needed.

Paracetamol for treating fever in children

Plain language summary pending.

Antipyretic measures for treating fever in malaria

Fever is a common symptom of malaria. Antipyretic drugs (fever‐relieving medicines) and physical measures (such as tepid sponging) are widely used by caregivers and health care workers to treat fever in adults and children with malaria. Some researchers have questioned the belief that treating fever with antipyretic drugs is beneficial. They suggest that it may actually prolong the time taken for the malaria parasite to be cleared from the blood system. This review looked for evidence from appropriate types of research that addressed these issues. We found only a few small trials and could not obtain sufficient information from these trials to reach a conclusion on whether the antipyretic drugs actually help to resolve malaria symptoms or prolong the illness.

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Summaries for consumers

Penicillin reduces the risk of streptococcal throat infections and attacks of rheumatic fever in people who have already had a bout of rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is a rare complication of throat infection, that can damage the heart. People who have had rheumatic fever can suffer from it again following streptococcal throat infection if they do not receive regular penicillin. Penicillin for prevention can be given by injection or as tablets. Taking tablets is easier but might not work as well as injections. The review of trials compared different ways of giving penicillin. Penicillin seemed to work better as injections than as tablets. Injections given every two or three weeks worked better than when given every four weeks. However, more research is needed.

Fever in children: How can you lower a fever?

Medication is not necessarily needed to lower a fever, but treating the fever can help if the child is feeling extremely unwell or the fever is very high.But it is not always clear whether the symptoms are being caused by the fever or by an underlying illness. This means that lowering a fever will not always make someone feel better. There are basically two ways to lower a fever: using medication or applying a cooling treatment from outside the body.Some parents hope that they will be able to prevent febrile seizures with medication. There is no good research on whether fever-lowering medication can prevent febrile seizures.Many parents also try homeopathic products, including aconitum D12, red belladonna D12 or chamomilla D12. There are no scientific studies that show that any of these products are effective.

Paracetamol for treating fever in children

Plain language summary pending.

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More about Fever

Photo of a child

Also called: Pyrexia, Hyperthermia, Elevated body temperature, Febrile, Pyrexial, Feverish

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