Medications Prescribed for Fevers
These medications help lower fever by blocking the production of prostaglandins in the body, which are responsible for causing fever and pain.Talk to a Doctor
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Common Questions About Fevers
The medical community generally defines a fever in adults as a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher.
A fever can be caused by various factors, including infections (bacterial, viral, or parasitic), inflammation, certain medications, autoimmune disorders, or other medical conditions. Fevers are part of the body's natural immune response to help fight off invading pathogens.
While most fevers are mild to moderate and can be managed at home, you seek immediate medical attention if your fever is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as a severe headache, difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent vomiting, or a rash – or if the fever is very high (above 103°F or 39.4°C) or lasts for more than a few days.
To lower a fever, you can take over-the-counter fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, ensure you stay well-hydrated, and get plenty of rest. Applying a cool compress to your forehead or taking a lukewarm bath may also help provide relief. Addressing the underlying cause of your fever is important, so be sure to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Rectal temperature is considered the most accurate method for taking temperature, but it may not be practical or comfortable for some people. You can also get an accurate temperature reading (as long as it’s done correctly) by taking it orally (in the mouth), under the armpit, or in the ear.
It’s a good idea to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before taking your temperature by mouth. This will give your body enough time to adjust to any changes in temperature caused by food or drink.
"Fever dreams" are believed to be related to the body's immune response to an infection. A fever is the body's way of fighting off pathogens by raising its internal temperature. This can affect the activity of certain chemicals in the brain – such as serotonin and dopamine – that regulate sleep and mood. The result may be changes in sleep patterns, including more frequent and vivid dreams that could feel strange or unsettling.
Additionally, a fever can cause dehydration, which can further impact brain function and lead to unusual dreams. Fever dreams are usually temporary and tend to resolve once the fever breaks and the body returns to its normal temperature.
A fever itself is not contagious, but the underlying cause of the fever – such as a bacterial or viral infection – can be contagious. To prevent the spread of infections, practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with others when you're sick, and covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.