Fever Reducing Medicines Increase the Spread of Infection

To put our lower bound for fp into perspective, consider that approximately 41 400 (95% CI: 27 100–55 700) deaths per year are attributed to seasonal influenza epidemics in the United States [43] (and an order of magnitude more worldwide [44]). Taken at face value, our results indicate, for example, that if Embedded Image then at least 700 deaths per year (95% CI: 30–2100) (and many more serious illnesses) could be prevented in the US alone by avoiding antipyretic medication for the treatment of influenza (see table 1). While subject to large uncertainty, our estimates in table 1 should be considered conservative, as we have ignored concomitant antipyretic-induced increases in infectious periods and contact rates.

The population-level effects of antipyretic treatment during influenza pandemics could be especially dramatic. It has been suggested that widespread use of aspirin in 1918 may have increased disease severity, and consequently death rates, during the pandemic [45], and experimental research in humans and other animals suggests that antipyretic use may increase the risk of death from serious infections [10,46]. Even without this individual-level effect, the population transmission-enhancing effect that we have highlighted here could have increased the final size of the 1918 pandemic significantly, suggesting that a non-negligible proportion of the 50–100 million [47] pandemic-related deaths could have been attributable to transmission enhancement from widespread use of antipyretic medication.


Folksonomies: medicine fever influenza

/health and fitness/disease (0.447556)
/health and fitness/disease/cold and flu (0.433349)
/health and fitness/disease/epidemic (0.150280)

seasonal influenza epidemics (0.931398 (negative:-0.403205)), Reducing Medicines Increase (0.854332 (negative:-0.564425)), concomitant antipyretic-induced increases (0.799125 (negative:-0.373147)), antipyretic medication (0.764166 (negative:-0.568282)), population transmission-enhancing effect (0.729965 (negative:-0.384976)), influenza pandemics (0.595842 (negative:-0.335962)), lower bound (0.549901 (negative:-0.564425)), pandemic-related deaths (0.546586 (negative:-0.583059)), individual-level effect (0.539732 (negative:-0.309203)), United States (0.538622 (negative:-0.403205)), large uncertainty (0.514188 (neutral:0.000000)), face value (0.509158 (neutral:0.000000)), Embedded Image (0.507376 (negative:-0.318487)), non-negligible proportion (0.504724 (negative:-0.274140)), infectious periods (0.503171 (negative:-0.373147)), disease severity (0.503076 (negative:-0.670716)), population-level effects (0.491603 (negative:-0.335962)), contact rates (0.488079 (negative:-0.373147)), final size (0.484855 (negative:-0.384976)), experimental research (0.481010 (negative:-0.491471)), transmission enhancement (0.479331 (negative:-0.583059)), antipyretic treatment (0.475656 (negative:-0.335962)), death rates (0.464991 (negative:-0.549854)), fp (0.283672 (negative:-0.564425)), magnitude (0.279930 (neutral:0.000000)), aspirin (0.268317 (negative:-0.670716)), Fever (0.263789 (negative:-0.564425)), Infection (0.262172 (negative:-0.564425)), estimates (0.260096 (neutral:0.000000)), Spread (0.259344 (negative:-0.564425))

antipyretic:Drug (0.926196 (negative:-0.490999)), seasonal influenza:HealthCondition (0.674906 (negative:-0.403205)), United States:Country (0.628808 (negative:-0.478356)), Fever:HealthCondition (0.490699 (negative:-0.564425)), aspirin:Drug (0.448153 (negative:-0.670716)), 95%:Quantity (0.448153 (neutral:0.000000))

Influenza (0.947305): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Infectious disease (0.856234): dbpedia | freebase
Pandemic (0.693797): dbpedia | freebase
Influenza pandemic (0.558004): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Fever (0.542114): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Transmission and infection of H5N1 (0.521801): dbpedia | freebase
Epidemiology (0.521007): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Infection (0.506050): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Population-level effects of suppressing fever
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Earn, Andrews, Bolker (22 January 2014), Population-level effects of suppressing fever, Retrieved on 2016-03-06
  • Source Material [rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org]
  • Folksonomies: medicine fever


    06 MAR 2016

     Fever-Reducer Impacts on Illness and Recovery

    Very little direct research on this, but preliminary data indicates reducing fever extends recovery times for illness.