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November 10, 2009


Steve Parker, M.D.

It shouldn't be hard to prove whether suppressing a fever with drugs is helpful or not. Your sources above don't offer any hard data, just opinion.

One of my trainers 25 years ago (Dr Earl Matthews) was an infectious disease specialist and he favored the "fever is good" theory. We should have science on this by now.


The Healthy Librarian

You're right Steve. I didn't research this-I just "reported" what someone else said.
I'm going to check out Medline. What do you personally practice--any guidelines, or upper limit temperature, or severity of symptoms that would warrant "fever reducers"?

I'm inclined to agree with Dr. Matthews--it's sort of like giving antibiotics too soon--we often get scared into giving medicine, before we give our bodies a "fighting chance" to fight off the infection.

The Healthy Librarian

I had forgotten about this Czech study that was published last month in Lancet.

It wasn't a "slam dunk", but apparently some babies who were given acetaminophen after receiving vaccinations did not develop as much immunity as those babes who were not given acetaminophen.

From the NPR story on the article:

October 16, 2009

"Giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations may backfire and make the shots a little less effective, surprising new research suggests.

It is the first major study to tie reduced immunity to the use of fever-lowering medicines. Although the effect was small and the vast majority of kids still got enough protection from vaccines, the results make "a compelling case" against routinely giving Tylenol right after vaccination, say doctors from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They wrote an editorial accompanying the study, published in Friday's issue of the British medical journal, Lancet."

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