Well­ness Arti­cles

Aspirin, Aceta­minophen May Pro­long the Flu

The above is the title of an arti­cle on the DrKoop​.com web site from Dec. 06, 2000 Reuters Health Infor­ma­tion. The arti­cle reports on research by Karen I. Plai­sance, MD; Philip A. Mack­owiak, MD pub­lished in the Achieves of Inter­nal Med­i­cine. The essence of the arti­cle states that tak­ing aspirin or sim­i­lar drugs to decrease a fever will increase the dura­tion of the Flu.

For many years com­mon prac­tice was to treat the fever of a Flu by tak­ing aspirin and reduc­ing the fever. This new research has con­firmed what chi­ro­prac­tors and oth­ers have been say­ing for years. Fever is a defense mech­a­nism designed to help the immune sys­tem by rais­ing body temperature.

The arti­cle was a review of sev­eral stud­ies. In this arti­cle it was revealed that flu suf­fer­ers who took one of the anti-​fever med­ica­tions such as aspirin, were sick an aver­age of 3.5 days longer than peo­ple who did not take any of the drugs.

Accord­ing to coau­thor, Dr. Karen I. Plai­sance, “The extra sick days may be an accept­able trade-​off for the relief they get from such med­ica­tions”. She con­tin­ued, “Depend­ing on what it is you have to get done … you may be will­ing to take that. Some busy peo­ple would rather be some­what sick for a longer time than be nearly wiped out for a shorter period.”

Accord­ing to the report, the inves­ti­ga­tors found that anti-​fever drugs such as aspirin or Tylenol, pro­longed the dura­tion of the flu. On aver­age, flu symp­toms lasted 5.3 days in par­tic­i­pants who did not take aspirin or aceta­minophen, com­pared with 8.8 days in peo­ple who took the anti-​fever drugs. Even an analy­sis that took into account the sever­ity of ill­ness, the use of anti-​fever drugs was still linked to longer-​lasting illness.

Accord­ing to the authors the mech­a­nism that links the drugs to pro­longed flu symp­toms is unclear. How­ever, they do men­tion the pos­si­bil­ity that reduc­ing fever may inter­fere with the immune sys­tem responses to an infec­tion. In other stud­ies on reduc­ing fever, sim­i­lar find­ings were reported in cases of chickenpox.

The under­ly­ing mes­sage of these stud­ies should sug­gest that inter­fer­ing with the defense mech­a­nisms of the body, such as fever, may reduce some symp­toms but will pro­long the time the body needs to fight off infec­tions and illness.

Ran­dom Article

The above head­line comes from a Novem­ber 9, 2004 ABC News fea­ture story. The fea­ture describes a dis­turb­ing trend of new mutated bacteria

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