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Prostaglandin E2 plays a critical role in producing fever. Drugs that inhibit brain cyclo-oygenase are effective in reducing fever, most often used being paracetamol, aspirin and other NSAID's.

Experimental evidence suggests that host defence mechanisms are enhanced by a raised temperature. Antipyretics should perhaps not be used routinely but clearly have a use for children at risk of febrile convulsions, for adults with cardiac and pulmonary failure (to reduce excessive O2 demand), and where fever causes delirium.

Last reviewed 01/2018