Ibuprofen First Reduces Fever in Children for Longer

September 3, 2008

When treating children for fever, ibuprofen is more effective than paracetamol (acetaminophen) in terms of the time without fever within the first four hours of treatment, while a combination of both drugs works best over the first 24 hours, according to research published Sept. 2 in BMJ Online First.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- When treating children for fever, ibuprofen is more effective than paracetamol (acetaminophen) in terms of the time without fever within the first four hours of treatment, while a combination of both drugs works best over the first 24 hours, according to research published Sept. 2 in BMJ Online First.

Alastair D. Hay, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Bristol in Bristol, United Kingdom, conducted a three-arm, blinded trial of 156 children aged 6 months to 6 years and with axillary temperatures between 37.8 degrees Celsius and 41 degrees Celsius, who were randomized to treatment at home with paracetamol plus ibuprofen, or either drug alone.

In terms of less time with fever in the four hours after treatment, paracetamol plus ibuprofen produced better results than paracetamol alone, and may have been as effective as ibuprofen alone, the researchers report. Over a 24-hour period, a combination of the two drugs cleared fever more effectively than either paracetamol or ibuprofen alone -- the combination gave 4.4 hours longer relief from fever versus paracetamol alone, and ibuprofen alone versus paracetamol alone gave 2.5 hours more relief, the report indicates.

"Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and parents wanting to use medicines to treat young, unwell children with fever should be advised to use ibuprofen first and to consider the relative benefits and risks of using paracetamol plus ibuprofen over a 24-hour period," the authors conclude.

AbstractFull Text

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.