The 5 medicines to lower fever (and when they should be taken) - medical - 2023



We have all had a fever at times and we have felt the need to lower our body temperature as soon as possible to feel better. But this is not always the best option, as this fever is a mechanism of our body to fight an infection.

That is, thanks to this fever, we reach a body temperature in which pathogens cannot develop as they would like and, in addition, we stimulate the immune system, making the cells that detect and neutralize germs faster and more effective.

Therefore, as long as the temperature is not reached too high, it is best not to fight the fever. It is a sign that our body is fighting something harmful. And if we quickly lower the body temperature, it will cost him 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 seeing when we should take them (and when not), we will offer a selection of the most effective and with fewer side effects.

  • We recommend reading: "Why do we have a fever when we are sick?"

Why does the fever appear?

Fever is one of the most common manifestations of diseases, especially infectious ones, but beyond this link 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. The normal body temperature of a person, although it depends on each individual and even on the time of day, is between 36.1 ° C and 37.2 ° C. Therefore, the concept of fever is something quite subjective.

Be that as it may, the important thing is to bear in mind that the pathogens that infect us (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc.) are adapted to grow in a temperature range similar to this. If they want to infect our body, they have to have a maximum efficiency of reproduction between 36 ° C and 37 ° C. Anything outside of this range (both above and below) will be detrimental to them.

And our body knows that, increasing the temperature, we will be damaging these pathogens. And that's when the fever appears. He will always try to find the balance between damaging germs and preserving our health, since, obviously, the increase in body temperature also affects the integrity of our cells. Not as much as bacteria, but it does too.

Therefore, with mild infections, a small increase in temperature will suffice, so we will have what is known as low-grade fever, the famous "having a few tenths". This low-grade fever is considered as a temperature between 37.2 ° C and 37.9 ° C and is the most common in mild illnesses, having a minimal effect on our integrity.

However, as it is a serious infection, the body will know that it has to eliminate that pathogen as quickly as possible. And there it puts this rapid elimination ahead of our integrity. Anything above 38 ° C is already considered a fever and some related symptoms begin.

  • We recommend you read: "The 12 types of fever (characteristics and health risks)"

Despite this, far from having to reduce it, it is when we most have to let our body temperature rise.If we have a fever, it is 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 against. It is a mechanism in our body to quickly fight a potentially dangerous infection. The more we fight to lower it, the more it will cost us to overcome the disease.

When do you have to lower the fever?

Now, there comes a time when this fever can affect our own body. Therefore, there are times when we must put a bit of the brake on what the brain says and lower body temperature.

Medications to lower fever should only be taken when the body temperature is above 38.9 ° C. As long as we are below, we should not take any antipyretic medication. Others can be taken for inflammation, for example, but not to lower a fever.

Therefore, as long as we do not reach 38.9 ° C or exceed it, no drugs are needed. You just have to rest and drink plenty of water to help the body take effect from 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 drop. There is only real danger when the body temperature is above 39.4 ° C, at which time not only would it be necessary to take medications to lower it, but it would be necessary to seek medical attention.

  • We recommend you read: "The 10 most used anti-inflammatory drugs: what is each one for?"

What are the best antipyretic drugs?

Antipyretic drugs are those that, after being consumed and flowing through the circulatory system, reach the hypothalamus, a region 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. And, when you have a fever, it allows you to reach lower thermal values.

We have already said it, but it is important to emphasize it again: you should only take these medications when the fever is above 38.9 ° C. If it is below, you have to let the body act as it needs, without influencing.

In the same way, we want to make it clear that the consumption of these drugs is not recommended in immunosuppressed people, who have just undergone surgery or who are in the middle of chemotherapy treatment. 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 that we will link in each of them.

1. Paracetamol

Paracetamol is another of the most widely 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. If it works with Paracetamol, you don't have to resort to any other.

And it is that Paracetamol has very few adverse effects compared to others on this list. It does not irritate the epithelium of the digestive system and, therefore, side effects are rare and appear in 1 in 1,000 people, generally consisting of a drop in blood pressure.

Still, although the side effects are rare, they do carry some risk. Therefore, it is still essential to make good use of it and only take it when reducing body temperature is necessary.

  • If you need extensive information: "Paracetamol: what it is, indications and side effects"

2. Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. It has efficient analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory (lowers inflammation) and antipyretic (reduces body temperature) actions.

It is sold in different doses and, depending on which it is, it can be freely obtained in pharmacies or it will require a prescription. In any case, self-medication is never a good option and, like the rest of antipyretics, it should only be taken when the fever 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 misused, but together with paracetamol, it is the best option to reduce fever. If Paracetamol has not worked, you should try Ibuprofen.

  • If you need extensive information: "Ibuprofen: what it is, indications and side effects"

3. Aspirin

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 been decreasing over the years.

Today it is reserved for symptoms of acute dental, menstrual, back pain and, above all, headache, but it also has a powerful effect in reducing 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 cannot take aspirin under any circumstances. Therefore, and taking into account that 1 in 10 adults who take it may have abdominal pain and even gastric ulcers, it is best to give up such an effective lowering of fever and opt for safer ones such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. .

  • If you need extensive information: "Aspirin: what it is, indications and side effects"

4. Nolotil

Metamizole or Nolotil is an analgesic and antipyretic drug that, depending on the country, can be obtained 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 doctor has so determined. Because of its possible complications (1 in 10 people experience hypotension), it is not recommended in all cases of fever.

Generally speaking, a doctor will only recommend the use of Nolotil when neither Ibuprofen nor Paracetamol have served to reduce an unusually high fever. Beyond this, it is not recommended.

  • If you need extensive information: "Nolotil (analgesic): what it is, indications and side effects"

5. Enantyum

We leave the Enantyum for last because it is the one indicated in, by far, fewer cases. It is a powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic that it is prescribed only in very specific cases of severe muscle and joint pain and in postoperative periods.

Obviously, it can only be obtained with a prescription and must be taken for very short periods of time, never longer than a week. Its use is only recommended in specific situations of acute and intense pain but for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action.

There is little point in taking Enantyum to simply lower a fever, unless it is very high. Also, those under 18 cannot take it under any circumstances. Therefore, unless a doctor determines it (it is very unlikely that he will), it is best to resort to the other four medications that we have seen, taking into account that, without a doubt, the best option to reduce fever is the Paracetamol, followed by Ibuprofen.

  • If you need extensive information: "Enantyum: what it is, indications and side effects"