Fever and antibiotics

Antibiotics are not antipyretic drugs, they are active substances that inhibit or kill bacteria from growing or multiplying. Thus, they reduce bacterial infections within a few days. They do not affect viruses.

In any case, they might be recommended by a doctor. Be cautious with them, as they are often used unjustifiably today, even among trained physicians (146). This is called antibiotic abuse in medical terms.

As more and more antibiotics are developed, more and more bacteria develop resistance to them. One of the main reasons for this is the unindicated excessive use of antibiotics (animal husbandry, food industry, health care).

Previously, it was thought that antibiotics "should be taken for a sufficient period of time, otherwise resistance may develop." This has changed by now, and we know that they are to be taken for as long as is absolutely necessary, for the shortest time possible.

Antibiotics, like all active substances, have undesirable side effects, e.g. allergy, diarrhoea, dysbacteriosis, rash, etc. This occurs in nearly 10% of children. Always read the patient package leaflet for these side effects. If this occurs, record it and notify the prescribing physician.

Common colds are most often of viral origin. Most simple infections are therefore handled by the healthy body within the first three days without any anti-fever or antibiotic treatment. And if the body can overcome it without medication, it practices and gets stronger. An interesting finding was, that antibiotics can leave the lung vulnerable to flu viruses, leading to significantly worse infections and symptoms (166).

Thus, in most cases, the use of antibiotics in everyday infections is not justified.

It is an interesting experience that if antibiotic use is rarely needed, it will be more effective for the patient to remain febrile. Fever thus increases the antibacterial effect of antibiotics (8-11).


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

Version update: 08th March 2020