In India, the effect of changing climate leads to numerous health consequences resulting from disease transmission. With the onset of the monsoon, fever is the most common symptom reported by people and this trend persists through the winter months. A fever in Celsius is a temperature greater than 38 degrees, or more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. During this season, fever can arise from numerous diseases namely respiratory infections, malaria, dengue, typhoid etc.
It is important for individuals to not panic at the slightest of fever as every fever will not necessarily be a symptom of Covid-19. While managing fever, it is important to take the right medicine in the right dose at the right time to ensure effectiveness and safety of the therapy, and management of the overall illness that leads to fever.
So, here are a few key takeaways that will help in treating fever in the right way.
Importance of taking medications correctly
It is estimated that approximately 50% of patients do not take their medications as advised or instructed by their doctors. This is very important because not taking your medicine correctly could lead to your disease getting worse. At the same time, underdosing may affect the efficacy of the medication and overdosing may raise the safety concerns
Remembering the “3 rights” to ensure effectiveness and safety of therapy
Focus on right dosage of paracetamol
Paracetamol is one of the most popular and widely used medicines for the treatment of fever (antipyretic) and pain (analgesic). Paracetamol is rapidly and almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Due to its good safety and tolerability profile, paracetamol is often the antipyretic of choice, especially in children, elderly patients and pregnant women.
For fever the recommended dose of Paracetamol is 325 to 650 mg; 3 to 4 times a day and is available in the strength of 650 mg and 500 mg tablets.
For an average Indian adult paracetamol 650mg is the optimal dose compared to the 500 mg. It can be safely taken for faster and more effective relief from fever. Underdosing with 500 mg may lead to delay in fever control and also may require frequent repetition of doses.
Treatment depends on the cause of your fever. If the fever is very high, your doctor may recommend paracetamol 650 mg for adults to ensure relief.
It is therefore important to take the recommended dose for all medications, follow all instructions before taking them, and take care of overall health by drinking enough liquids to prevent dehydration, and get adequate rest. It is always advisable to consult your doctor to understand the underlying cause of your fever and the recommended treatment for the condition/disease.
(Author Dr AK Gupta is associated with Fortis Hospital)