What is the acceptable way to reduce an infant’s fever quickly and prevent febrile seizures? Should I use cold towels or a combination of ibuprofen (Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol)?
—Felix N. Chien, DO, Newport Beach, Calif.
There is still some disagreement about if and when you should treat fever. Some believe that early and vigorous treatment will provide patient comfort and prevent febrile seizures. Others are in opposition to this approach because antipyretics have not been proven to reduce the recurrence of febrile seizures and believe that fever helps fight infection. Sponge bathing in tepid water will reduce body temperature, but it is short-lived if you do not provide antipyretic therapy with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Although many clinicians use both acetaminophen and ibuprofen together, there is no benefit to using the combination.
— Michael E. Ryan, DO (123-13)