Coronavirus over-the-counter fever treatments can make things worse

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, many of those who come down with it may be tempted to drive down a fever with common over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Motrin, Advil, and others. One of the main symptoms of the coronavirus is an elevated body temperature.

But is that a good idea? Our bodies raise our temperatures for a good reason. It makes the infection easier to fight. If we treat this fever, it could raise the risk of complications. And in this pandemic environment, those complications can be life threatening.

This is not a simple topic and I am not a doctor. People who take these medications may be treating chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. That makes treatment decisions more complicated. If you have any questions about the use of these medications, consult your doctor.

PhD nurse, John Campbell, discusses this topic in today’s edition of his daily YouTube video.

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This really does fly in the face of everything we have been taught. Since childhood we have been told that a fever is bad. At the first sign of one the bottle of asprin (in my childhood but not any more) ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen, paracetamol) was dug out of the medicine cabinet.

The common wisdom was that fevers cause discomfort and discomfort is bad and therefore must be treated. In most circumstances a fever is a natural response to a contagion, it is one of the bodies natural weapons to fight the infection.

The last I looked there were no medical degrees hanging on my office walls so I do not give medical advice, I will only say that before I take away one of my bodies natural defenses against this disease by taking a fever reducer I am first going to call my doctor.

I grew up in the same environment. I do know that severely elevated temps do pose a threat but my reading of the coronavirus fever is that it is not severely elevated. I think somehow we as a society transformed that into fighting any fever. This line of thinking then feeds into the marketing efforts of these OTC meds.

Hi terry4

1/ What hes saying in the video things like asprin or an asma puffer is in the same family as cortisone… and panadol issnt the same…

Hmmm how do i find a link?

Here in australia its just beginning…

@Cobia – I would try doing some Google searches using terms like “coronavirus NSAID,” “coronavirus fever,” or even “should I take a fever reducer if I have coronavirus?”

If anyone has any helpful links about this, please post. I’ll do some searching myself.

Here’s one link.

My layman’s mind totally agrees with your comment, Terry. I think (logically) that a fever (if not dangerously high, of course) is nature’s way of combating infection. Trying to reduce a MILD fever might not be the best course of action in my opinion (which means little as I’m no doctor). I’m unusual in that I feel bad at fevers as low as 99 degrees. My normal temp is 98.1 most of the time (checked at office visits of which I have had too many the last few months).

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