Influenza, Painkillers and Death

An infection with an Influenza virus usually delivers you a range of symptoms. They include fevers, joint and muscle aches, headache, fatigue, prostration, cough and a sore throat. Simply put: you are feeling really ill.

Painkillers and antipyretics – fever reducers – might be ingested to make some of the symptoms more bearable. What can be worse than having an infection with an Influenza virus, you might ask? Well, these over-the-counter medications, such as asperin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, diclofenac, etc. might be more dangerous with Influenza than previously thought.
Research[1] indicated that, while there was only limited evidence from animal studies, it did suggest that the administration of antipyretics may have the potential to increase the severity of influenza illness and the risk of mortality. An increased risk was observed with aspirin, paracetamol and diclofenac.

We already mentioned here that fever is the reaction of your body to fight the virus. Reducing the fever with antipyretics gives the Influenza virus the opportunity to multiply again.

Besides: Diclofenac is lethal for vultures in India. Read that story here.

[1] Eyers et al: The effect on mortality of antipyretics in the treatment of influenza infection: systematic review and meta-analyis in Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine - 2010

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