Health Center: Fever Control
Although fevers are part of our immune functioning, they can make you very uncomfortable and cause extreme sweating that can even contribute to dehydration. Properly controlling fevers does not interfere with your body’s defenses and can make you feel tremendously better.
- What’s normal?
- Normal body temperature is 98.6 F or 37 C.
- A low-grade fever is 99-100.9 F or 37.2-38.3 C.
- Moderate or Significant fever is 101-103.9 F or 38.3-40 C.
- High is above 104 F or 40 C.
- Fevers can be controlled with Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). Proper dosages are:
- Acetaminophen 1000 mg every 6 hours (that is 3 regular strength 325 mg tablets, or 2 extra strength 500 mg tablets).
- Ibuprofen is 600 mg (3 regular strength 200 mg tablets) every 6 hours.
- For difficult to control fevers, you can use both Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen alternately.
- Aspirin should not be used for fever control. Aspirin given in the presence of certain viral illnesses can lead to
’s Syndrome, a sometimes fatal complication. Rye
- Tepid or warm baths can help reduce fevers. Do not take cold baths or otherwise try to chill the body.
- Remember to stay well hydrated.
- Seek immediate care if fever:
- Is accompanied by delirium, difficulty breathing, or seizure.
- Is accompanied by flank pain and urinary symptoms.
- Is accompanied by extreme headache, light sensitivity and/or stiff neck.
- Is accompanied by a blotchy purple or blood-colored rash.
- Is up to 104 degrees and unresponsive to fever control measures.
- Call to the health center if fever:
- Persists for more than three days without explanation.
- Is accompanied by painful or frequent urination.
- Is accompanied by sore throat or earache.
- Is accompanied by cough with colored sputum.
- Is accompanied by vomiting, significant diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
- Is accompanied by a rash or infected-looking wound.
- In women is accompanied by abnormal vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain.
- If you have a condition that suppresses your immunity.