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February 28, 2000

Antipyretic Therapy: Physiologic Rationale, Diagnostic Implications, and Clinical Consequences

Author Affiliations

From the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (Dr Plaisance), the Medical Care Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System (Dr Mackowiak), and the Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine (Dr Mackowiak), Baltimore, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(4):449-456. doi:10.1001/archinte.160.4.449

Various treatments have been used to suppress fever since antiquity. Surprisingly, few studies have been performed to ascertain the physiologic consequences of antipyresis and validate the rationale behind such therapy. More importantly, it has not been established conclusively that the benefits of antipyretic therapy outweigh its risks. The present review considers these issues in light of currently available data and formulates guidelines for antipyretic therapy based on these data.