The first thing we are going to do before entering into the establishment of the meaning of the term antipyretic is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we have to emphasize that it is a word derived from 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 synonymous with “related to fever”. That comes, in turn, from the noun “pyretós”, which is “fever”.
-The suffix “-ikos”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.
A antipyretic it’s a medicine that helps fight fever. This class of substance is also called fever-reducing or antipyretic.
It is worth mentioning that fever is called the phenomenon that causes a increase of the temperature bodily and an increase in respiratory rate and pulse. Antipyretics are drugs feverish: They are effective in reducing fever and bringing the body temperature back to normal.
Antipyretics generally work against the symptoms of fever, but not against the cause. In other words, an antipyretic can contribute to a drop in temperature without resolving the origin of the fever. Therefore, if the disease persists, the temperature will rise again.
Many antipyretics, in addition to being febrifugal, are anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation) and analgesics (eliminate pain). These characteristics make them drugs that alleviate the general discomfort experienced by a person with fever and other disorders.
There are two drugs that enjoy great fame 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, it is necessary to consult the pediatrician in advance and adults can take between half or one gram every four to six hour period.
-Paracetamol. This drug is not anti-inflammatory like the previous one and it must be emphasized that it is recommended not to take it for more than ten days in a row. To all the above we can point out that for children it comes in various formats such as drops and even as a syrup.
These two drugs must be known that, in Spain, they can be purchased without any type of prescription. However, as with all drugs, it is recommended not to take it without first consulting your doctor.
The ibuprofen it is among the most widely used antipyretics. 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 mechanisms or physical processes that can be called antipyretics since they help to lower the temperature of the body. body. Place a wet cloth on the forehead of the individual who has a fever, for example, is an antipyretic action. Unlike drugs, the effect is usually immediate but short-lived.