AskDefine | Define antipyretic

Dictionary Definition

antipyretic adj : preventing or alleviating fever [ant: pyretic] n : any medicine that lowers body temperature to prevent or alleviate fever [syn: febrifuge]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. that reduces fever
    • 1999, Otto Appenzeller, The Autonomic Nervous System, ISBN 0444825460, p. 486.
      The antipyretic action of AVP is limited mainly to its action in a precise location in the ventral septum, though there is some evidence for a similar action in the medial amygdala.



  1. such a medication; a febrifuge


Extensive Definition

Antipyretics are drugs that reduce body temperature in situations such as fever. However, they will not affect the normal body temperature if one does not have fever.
Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override an interleukin-induced increase in temperature. The body will then work to lower the temperature and the result is a reduction in fever.
Most are also used for other purposes. For example, the most common antipyretics in the United States are aspirin and paracetamol (acetaminophen), which are used primarily as pain relievers. NSAIDs are antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, and pain relievers. There is some debate over the appropriate use of such medications: fever is part of the body's immune response to infection.
Herbal remedies with a fever-reducing effect are called febrifuges, and include catnip, chamomile, sage, wormwood and yarrow. However, the term febrifuge can also refer to a refrigerant, such as topical alcohol, which cools the body by physically removing heat rather than modifying the body's responses. This is not recommended currently, because alcohol can be transferred through the skin and affect the liver. In addition, alcohol slightly raises the body temperature before it brings it down, which, if the fever is already very high could cause permanent damage..


antipyretic in Arabic: مخفض حرارة
antipyretic in Catalan: Antipirètic
antipyretic in Czech: Antipyretikum
antipyretic in German: Antipyretikum
antipyretic in Spanish: Antipirético
antipyretic in French: Antipyrétique
antipyretic in Italian: Antipiretico
antipyretic in Dutch: Antipyreticum
antipyretic in Portuguese: Antipirético
antipyretic in Slovak: Antipyretikum
antipyretic in Slovenian: Antipiretik
antipyretic in Serbian: Антипиретик
antipyretic in Swedish: Antipyretika
antipyretic in Tamil: காய்ச்சலடக்கி
antipyretic in Turkish: Antipiretik
antipyretic in Urdu: ضد بخار
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