The first thing that we are going to do before entering into the establishment of the meaning of the antipyretic term is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we have to emphasize that it is a word that derives from the Greek. It is exactly the result of the sum of the following clearly defined elements:
-The prefix “anti-“, which can be translated as “against”.
-The Greek term “pyretikos”, which comes to be used as a synonym for “related to fever”. This, in turn, comes from the noun “pyretós”, which is “fever”.
-The suffix “-ikos”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.
An antipyretic is a medicine that helps fight fever. This kind of substance also called anti – fever or antipyretic.
It should be mentioned that fever is the phenomenon that causes an increase in body temperature and an increase in respiratory rate and pulse. Antipyretics are febrifuge drugs: they are effective in reducing fever and bringing body temperature back to normal.
Antipyretics generally work against the symptoms of fever, but not the cause. In other words: an antipyretic can contribute to a drop in temperature without solving the origin of the fever. So if the disease persists, the temperature will rise again.
Many antipyretics, in addition to febrifuge, are anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation) and pain relievers (eliminate pain). These characteristics mean that they are drugs that alleviate the general discomfort experienced by a person with fever and other disorders.
There are two drugs that are famous as antipyretics and also as pain relievers:
-Acetyl salicylic acid, popularly known as aspirin. It is characterized because it also has a remarkable efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. In order to be used in children, the pediatrician must be consulted beforehand and adults can take between one and a half grams every four to six hours.
-Paracetamol. This drug is not anti-inflammatory like the previous one and it must be emphasized that it is recommended not to take it more than ten days in a row. To all the above we can point out that for children it is presented in various formats such as drops and even as syrup.
These two medicines must be known that, in Spain, they can be bought without any prescription. However, as with all drugs, it is recommended not to take it without first consulting your doctor.
The ibuprofen is among antipyretics more employees. They are over-the-counter medications, although it is advisable to consult a doctor and not self-medicate.
It should be noted that, beyond drugs, there are physical mechanisms or processes that can be called antipyretics since they help lower body temperature. Placing a wet cloth over the forehead of the individual with a fever, for example, is an antipyretic action. Unlike drugs, the effect is usually immediate but short-lived.