Available evidence does not support routine administration of antipyretics to reduce duration of fever or illness
- School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
- Correspondence to Anne Walsh
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 3848, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia;
Fever is a common occurrence in adults and children in community and healthcare settings. Despite this, it does not seem to be common knowledge that fever is a natural response to an invading organism and that most fevers are associated with self-limiting viral illnesses.1,–,3 Many health professionals and the general public see fever as an illness in itself not as a highly coordinated protective response.
Illness sometimes results in the body thermostat being set higher than normal, and hence fever is a physiological measure which may result in shivering, for example, in order to initially raise the body temperature to an elevated set point, and then sweating to return it to normal. Being febrile may be unpleasant, and the literature abounds with reports of health professionals' and parents' actions to reduce fever and maintain temperature within normal limits, during febrile illnesses.1 2 Active …