PDA

View Full Version : The medication makes you sicker, or prolongs the illness



rommel543
2011-Jan-31, 04:00 PM
I've recently had and gotten over a case of a flu/virus that lasted about 4 days (this past Wednesday to Saturday). Getting to work this morning I was having a conversation with one of my co-workers regarding getting the flu, etc and she mentioned that her kids recently got the flu. The interesting thing is that two of the kids got high fevers then were fine the next day, the third however only had a minor fever and her flu dragged on for 3-4 days.

While I was contemplating the inside of my toilet the first day I pulled a muscle in my lower back, and with laying in bed constantly my back hurt so I was taking ibuprofen for the pain. Ibuprofen also has the effect of being a fever reducer. Your body's natural defense mechanism to fight viruses is to heat up because viruses can only live in a certain temperature range. I have a suspicion that because I was taking the ibuprofen I didn't develop a fever which caused the virus to last longer.

If the ibuprofen did cause the flu to last longer I'm kind of wondering about all the medication that is on the market that advertise fever reducing. Is reducing a fever in the person's best interest when you have a flu or virus. Yes if the fever gets too high it can cause damage to internal organs but attempting to keep the temperature at a "normal" levels can be prolonging the infection.

I'm wondering if anyone else has run into this before.

Fazor
2011-Jan-31, 04:11 PM
While a fever might be the natural response, considering how dangerous it can be if one's body temperature raises too high (I think I once read that certain organs risk permanent harm at about 105(F), but take that as a "random person on the internet said")

I know when I get the flu, which thankfully is rare, I almost always run a fever in the 104.5 range. Though I rarely take "fever reducers", as I don't like to medicate much anyway. I prefer the 'ol fashioned moist washcloth and daytime tv. I'm convinced that even a few hours of daytime tv is enough to motivate your body to shed any (curable) disease.

Gillianren
2011-Jan-31, 05:57 PM
Remember, a fever is bad for your body. Even if your cold drags on a few more days, it's better than the damage the fever can do to you.

rommel543
2011-Jan-31, 06:38 PM
A high fever is bad for your body, but a fever of 101, 102 would help kill the virus and not do permanent damage, no more than a virus would. Why not let your bodies natural defense take over and just manage the fever to keep it around the 102, while drinking plenty of fluids, chicken soup, etc. If I remember correctly it's not the fever thats bad for you it the fact that many people don't maintain the fluid loss so they get dehydrated.

What is the temperature difference of your body if you are exercising? Normal temperature is what, 98.5 or something like that?

Swift
2011-Jan-31, 09:06 PM
A high fever is bad for your body, but a fever of 101, 102 would help kill the virus and not do permanent damage, no more than a virus would. Why not let your bodies natural defense take over and just manage the fever to keep it around the 102, while drinking plenty of fluids, chicken soup, etc. If I remember correctly it's not the fever thats bad for you it the fact that many people don't maintain the fluid loss so they get dehydrated.
Actually, that is not correct. The fever itself can do damage, particularly in young children; dehydration just makes things worse. And young children also have more difficulty regulating their body temperature. Lastly, I doubt there are treatments (a particular drug at a particular dosage) that are so precise that we can dial in a body temperature of 101F versus 105F.


What is the temperature difference of your body if you are exercising? Normal temperature is what, 98.5 or something like that?
Normally during exercise your body temperature should be very close to normal, particularly if you measure your core temperaure.

rommel543
2011-Jan-31, 09:28 PM
I'm not saying a medication that causes your body temperature to rise. I'm saying if your body temperature rises on it's own, just keep in in check but let it come up.

As well, if the person is young, or not in a healthy state to begin with then I would not suggest that you let them get a high temperature. But, if it's a healthy adult wouldn't it reduce the time with the virus by letting the fever come up and run it's course.

kleindoofy
2011-Jan-31, 09:50 PM
An old saying goes "a cold without medication lasts seven days, with medication it lasts a week."

I once made the bad mistake of suppressing a cold/flu. I was on the road, didn't want to get sick, and constantly took multiple aspirin to make the cold/flu that I could feel coming go away.

Well, colds/flus don't let themselves be chased away. They take revenge. When I finally got home, the flu broke out in full force, the worst I've ever had. Horrible. Scary.

I learned from that and now I let myself be sick for a few days when a cold breaks out, instead of ignoring it or trying to suppress it with medication. In the long run it's much better that way.

I take as little medication as possible and try to sleep for a few days straight through. Without medication, the body gets used to fighting its own battles and builds up the immune system. Sleep lets the body carry out its fight against the illness. I take two aspirin before going to sleep, perhaps twice a day, not more. and only for a few short days. The aspirin helps the body fight against fever and inflammation, at best during sleep.

The result is that I'm rarely sick and usually get over it very quickly.

novaderrik
2011-Jan-31, 09:54 PM
i rarely get sick- if i do get the flu, i feel like death for a couple of days and then it goes away.
but a few years ago, i was sick for over a week. i was living at my mom's at the time, and she kept playing the mommy character i remember from my childhood 3 decades ago and pumping me full of stuff to make me feel better- flu medication, ibuprofen, chicken soup,etc- and i think that might have been why it lasted so long.

Swift
2011-Jan-31, 09:56 PM
I'm not saying a medication that causes your body temperature to rise. I'm saying if your body temperature rises on it's own, just keep in in check but let it come up.
I understood that is what you meant. I still say that the treatments are such that you can't wait till the person is at 101F and then "hit the brakes", or that when they are at 105F you can give them something that will only drop them to 101F.


As well, if the person is young, or not in a healthy state to begin with then I would not suggest that you let them get a high temperature. But, if it's a healthy adult wouldn't it reduce the time with the virus by letting the fever come up and run it's course.
I don't know, it might. I would suspect the benefits of cutting the illness length by a few days isn't worth the risks of high fever.

My own experience from when I had the H1N1 flu a year ago (and H1N1 is a little different than the normal seasonal) is that I never had much of a fever. I think at most I hit around 100-101F the first couple of days, then was pretty close to normal. But I suffered from other symptoms for about 10 days. I never took anything specifically to reduce fever, though I did take ibuprofen for aches.

Fazor
2011-Jan-31, 10:04 PM
Having a high temperature in order to discourage the spread of a virus does, however, remind me of my favorite remedy. Whiskey. I figure if I get my BAC up high enough, the virus will no longer find it an inviting environment and move on. I also say that's the best kind of anti-mosquito step (make it so they don't want your blood).

. . . though I should add the disclaimer that it doesn't really work, would be really really foolish to try to raise your BAC any measurable amount in the event of a bad illness (particularly in conjunction with any meds you may have taken), and that the treatment does not carry Fazor's Stamp of Approval (tm).

rommel543
2011-Jan-31, 10:08 PM
I learned from that and now I let myself be sick for a few days when a cold breaks out, instead of ignoring it or trying to suppress it with medication....

I like making the comment "to get rid of cold you need to give it to someone else". It seems that as soon as someone else catches it, I feel better.




Having a high temperature in order to discourage the spread of a virus does, however, remind me of my favorite remedy. Whiskey. I figure if I get my BAC up high enough, the virus will no longer find it an inviting environment and move on. I also say that's the best kind of anti-mosquito step (make it so they don't want your blood).

. . . though I should add the disclaimer that it doesn't really work, would be really really foolish to try to raise your BAC any measurable amount in the event of a bad illness (particularly in conjunction with any meds you may have taken), and that the treatment does not carry Fazor's Stamp of Approval (tm).

But if your BAC is high enough you just really don't care about the mosquito bites.

kleindoofy
2011-Jan-31, 10:33 PM
... It seems that as soon as someone else catches it, I feel better. ...
Sharing is always a good thing to do. Why be selfish?

But, when I hear my employee sneazing, I try to be humble and forego his sharing. In fact, to make it easier for him, I tell him he'll get fired if he shares. It's good to be humble. ;)

Jens
2011-Feb-01, 01:36 AM
If the ibuprofen did cause the flu to last longer I'm kind of wondering about all the medication that is on the market that advertise fever reducing. Is reducing a fever in the person's best interest when you have a flu or virus. Yes if the fever gets too high it can cause damage to internal organs but attempting to keep the temperature at a "normal" levels can be prolonging the infection.

I think that producing fever is one of the ways the body copes with infections, but it's not the only way and unless it's a serious infection it's probably not all that necessary and, as others have said, is damaging to the body (it makes you feel bad, for one thing). Just like coughs. Coughing has a real function, but in many cases with the common cold it's not all that important, so suppressing the cough doesn't make that much of a difference, I think. So I don't think taking anti-pyretics is really a bad thing but also not necessary if you don't mind the fever.

korjik
2011-Feb-01, 06:35 AM
I understood that is what you meant. I still say that the treatments are such that you can't wait till the person is at 101F and then "hit the brakes", or that when they are at 105F you can give them something that will only drop them to 101F.


I don't know, it might. I would suspect the benefits of cutting the illness length by a few days isn't worth the risks of high fever.

My own experience from when I had the H1N1 flu a year ago (and H1N1 is a little different than the normal seasonal) is that I never had much of a fever. I think at most I hit around 100-101F the first couple of days, then was pretty close to normal. But I suffered from other symptoms for about 10 days. I never took anything specifically to reduce fever, though I did take ibuprofen for aches.

I had the completely opposite effect fever-wise, but exactly the same otherwise. I normally run a little cold on an oral thermometer, and dont generally run a fever. I have had full blown pneumonia and only hit 99F. I got exposed last winter, and ended up with 103.5 for about 3 days. It finally broke after about three days, then I was dragging a bit for the next week. First time I had broken 100F in about 25 years.