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