Fever


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NSAID Drug Safety Announcement (October 2020)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) around 20 weeks or later in pregnancy may cause rare but serious kidney problems in an unborn baby. Click here to learn more.

What is Fever?

Fever—a higher than usual body temperature—is usually a sign that your body is trying to fight an illness or infection such as strep throat or the flu.

Normal body temperature is typically at or around 98.6°F, and a temperature above your normal temperature range is considered a fever. Fever symptoms – or symptoms that are commonly experienced with a fever – may include sweating, chills and shivering, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and dehydration.

Fevers can be uncomfortable, but they are not usually dangerous. A low-grade fever (98.6°F – 100.4°F) typically does not require medical treatment and can usually be fought off at home with rest and hydration. There are also a number of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available to help lower a fever that you can add to your treatment toolkit. If your fever is at or above 104°F, immediately seek medical attention. Click here for information on treating a child’s fever.

OTC Fever Reducers

Over-the-counter fever reducers are medicines that can lower fever and also treat mild to moderate pain.

These medicines can be taken by mouth in the form of pills or liquids or inserted into the rectum in suppository form. Fever reducers come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, liquid solutions, and syrups.

There are two basic types of OTC medicines that work as fever reducers:

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Safe use tips for fever reducers

  • Always read and follow the Drug Facts label carefully. The label tells you everything you need to know about the medicine, including the ingredients, what you are supposed to use it for, how much you should take, and when you should not take the product.
  • Talk to a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional before using more than one pain reliever or fever reducer at the same time.
  • Stop use and contact a healthcare professional if your fever lasts more than 3 days.
  • If a severe allergic reaction occurs and you experience symptoms such as hives, facial swelling, asthma (wheezing), shock, skin reddening, rash, or blisters, immediately seek medical attention.
  • If you take low-dose aspirin for protection against heart attack and stroke, be aware that some NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, may interfere.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional before use.
  • Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns before taking an OTC fever reducer.

If you think you have taken or given too much of a medicine, immediately contact a healthcare professional or Poison Control at 888-222-1222.