Antipyretics (//, from the words anti- meaning 'against' and pyretic meaning 'feverish') are substances that reduce fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to ignore increases in temperature caused by prostaglandin. The body then works to lower the temperature, which results in a reduction in fever.
Most antipyretic medications have other purposes. The most common antipyretics in the United States are ibuprofen and aspirin. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used mainly as analgesics to relieve pain, but which also have antipyretic properties. Acetaminophen or (paracetamol), is an analgesic with weak anti-inflammatory properties.
There is some debate over using medication to control fever. Fever is part of the body's immune response to infection. A study by the Royal Society found controlling fever causes at least 1% more influenza cases of death in the United States, which results in at least 700 extra deaths per year.
- "Definition of antipyretic". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-12-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Acetaminophen," National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Modified 2016-08-07, Accessed 2016-08-16.
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- Kupferschmidt, Kai (2014-01-21). "Fight the Flu, Hurt Society?". ScienceNow.