Skip directly to content

Possible negative outcomes for the use of antipyretic drugs

on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 09:31

Fever is perceived as an unpleasant consequence of an infectious disease but is one of the first weapons through which an organism fight an infection. Use of antipyretic drugs to attenuate fever is quite diffuse but it could also have negative consequences, as it is shown by an article on The Proceedings of Royal Society B. The authors, a group of researchers from Canada, collected published data available and found that reducing fever may increase transmission of associated infections. Such an increase of the number of cases has been estimated to be 1 percent for pandemic influenza and 5 percent for the seasonal one.

The researchers recognize that these results are incomplete and heterogeneous – for instance, they did not consider patients’ propensity to leave home once the fever has been reduced, even if the infection is still ongoing – but they still suggest that there is a connection between fever suppression and the rise of expected number of influenza cases and deaths in the US.