What Are the Treatments for Fever in Adults?

Q:
What are the treatments for fever in adults?

A:
1. Take Temperature
Temperature can be taken orally, rectally, or under the armpit.

  • A person is typically considered feverish if oral temperature is above 100 F (37.8 C) or rectal temperature is above 99.5 F (37.5 C).
  • A temperature above normal but below 100.4 F (38 C) is sometimes considered a low-grade or mild fever.

2. Treat Fever, if Necessary
No treatment is necessary for a mild fever unless the person is uncomfortable:

  • Give an over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) as directed on the label. Check with your doctor first if you have any medical conditions or take other medicines.
  • Bathing or sponging in lukewarm water may bring the temperature down. Do not use cold water or alcohol.
  • Have the person wear light clothing and use a light cover or sheet. If the person gets chills, use an extra blanket until they go away.

3. Give Liquids
Have the person drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

4. When to Contact a Doctor
Seek medical help immediately if the person has:

  • A high fever that doesn’t respond to fever-reducing medicine
  • A history of serious illness such as AIDS, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, or if the person is taking immunosuppressant drugs
  • A severe cough, coughs up blood, or has trouble breathing
  • A stiff neck, is confused, or has trouble staying awake
  • Pain with urination, back pain, or shaking chills
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Severe stomach pain, vomits repeatedly, or has severe diarrhea
  • Skin rashes, blisters, or a red streak on an arm or leg

Contact a doctor if the high body temperature lasts for more than 3 days or gets worse.

Keyword: fever adults

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