Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
InteliHealth
Ask the Doc
4464
Ask the Doc
Ask The Expert
Harvard Medical School
Image of a cadeusus
. .
General Medical Questions
.
Question : Is there any benefit in lowering fever by means of bathing, cold packs, etc. Is it even necessary?
.
.
.
The Trusted Source
.
.
Howard LeWine, M.D.

Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 20 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program.

.
.
November 04, 2011
.

A:

With extreme elevations in body temperature (as with heat stroke), it’s often necessary to cool the outside of the body. And it’s considered an important part of emergency care.

But for the vast majority of fevers, you’re right: cold baths or cold packs aren’t necessary. In fact, this can be uncomfortable or even dangerous since lowering the body temperature too much comes with its own risks. And cooling the skin may cause shivering that could lead to higher body temperature.

For most fevers, the most important steps are to determine and treat the cause and remain well hydrated.

Fever itself is not a disease. It’s a sign of illness. Finding the cause of the illness is essential, as this will direct treatment. While infection is a leading cause of fever, there are many other causes, such as:

  • Autoimmune disease (lupus and many others)
  • Cancer
  • Medication reactions
  • Thyroid disease
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs

Drink plenty of fluids: Since fever causes fluid loss, staying well-hydrated will help you feel better. Cool liquids can help lower your temperature as well.

For comfort, you can take an over-the-counter medicine to reduce body temperature. Examples include acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Aspirin is okay for adults. But it is not recommended for children unless specifically prescribed by the child’s doctor.

A common mistake: Assuming you have a fever based on “feeling feverish” or having chills. Check your temperature with a thermometer if you think you have a fever. And if you do have a persistent or unexplained fever, let your doctor know.

.

4581, 8465, 8473, 8482, 8760,
 
8473

.
.
InteliHealth
.
Ask A Question
.
.
InteliHealth
Do You Have A Question?
.
. . .
.
Ask The Expert Archives
Topics
.
InteliHealth
.
InteliHealth

    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
dmtatd
dmtATD
dmtatd
126747
InteliHealth
1998-05-15
f
InteliHealth
NULL
411, 4464, 4581, 4582, 7991, 7992, 7995, 7996, 7997, 8122, 8438, 8463, 8464, 8465, 8466, 8467, 8468, 8469, 8470, 8471, 8472, 8473, 8474, 8475, 8476, 8477, 8479, 8480, 8481, 8482, 8483, 8484, 8486, 8487, 8488, 8489, 8490, 8760, 14219, 20807, 21346, 21349, 21351, 23926, 23938, 24017, 24025, 24075, 24151, 24510, 24519, 24549, 24869, 24878, 25107, 25518, 25646, 25968, 29367, 29516, 29595, 48666, 48812, 59367,
4581
.
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.