Anti-pyretics

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  • An antipyretic is a type of medication that will prevent or reduce fever by lowering body temperature from a raised state.
  • They will not affect normal body temperature if the patient does not have a fever.
  • Generally, most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by inhibiting prostaglandin synthetase within the hypothalamus.
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are currently the most frequently used antipyretic medications in children due to their safety and efficacy.
  • Recently, alternating acetaminophen with ibuprofen has become commonplace by both parents and physicians.
  • At a national meeting, 50% of pediatricians reported that they routinely advised parents to alternate acetaminophen with ibuprofen.
  • Antipyretics work by getting the "thermostat" in the hypothalamus to override the interleukin-induced increase in temperature.
  • The body will then work to lower the temperature to the new, lower temperature and the result is a reduction in the fever.
  • Antipyretics will also reduce prostaglandin synthesis in the hypothalamus by inhibiting the effect of endogenous or microbial pyrogens on the heat regulating sensors of the hypothalamus.
  • By blocking prostaglandin synthetase, antipyretics prevent a rise in prostaglandin levels in the brain.
  • Examples of Antipyretic drugs include aspirin, acetaminophen , ibuprofen , naproxen , the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib , and narcotic drugs including morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone (Vicodin). 

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