Antibiotics and fever

It is unfortunate that many people today, on their own initiative - that is, without medical advice - start taking antibiotics for raised temperature or fever, which is incorrect and even dangerous in several ways:

  • Antibiotics are not antipyretics!
  • Antibiotics do not effect against viruses, and the most common cause of temperature or fever is a viral infection. In such a case, undue administration of the antibiotics may further worsen the course of the viral infection (166).
  • Most of the diseases that underlie short-term febrile conditions in everyday life, even if they are caused by bacteria, do not require antibiotic treatment.
  • Determining the need for an antibiotic, selecting the appropriate antibiotic, including determining dosage and duration of treatment is the task of a doctor.
  • Studies have shown that antibiotics are more effective when a patient is allowed to remain febrile (8 - 11).
  • Antibiotics have a number of side effects, and weighing the risks and benefits is also fundamentally the task of a doctor (146).
  • Be sure to consult a doctor if you experience side effects as allergy, diarrhea, dysbacteriosis, rash, etc. In the case of antibiotics, this occurs in nearly 10% of treated children.


It should be emphasized that one of the biggest problems with antibiotic treatment today is the increasing resistance of pathogens: this is called antibiotic resistance. Unnecessary, inadequate duration or dosage (169) of antibiotic “treatment” increases the development of resistance, and is therefore harmful and dangerous not only for the individual patient but for all of us.

Only take antibiotics on the advice of a doctor!


Refer to the literature by numbers in this document here: References

Version update 03 October 2020