Antipyretic drugs increase the risk of death from the flu

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Antipyretic drugs lead to more surviving viruses in the case of flu

Antipyretic drugs could increase seasonal flu waves. This is what researchers report in the "Proceedings B" of the British Royal Society. The drugs cause around five percent more infections and thousands of deaths each year. The drugs used to lower the fever led to more influenza viruses surviving and longer contact between the sick and the healthy as the patients returned to their work place faster, the researchers report.

Antipyretic flu drugs have undesirable side effects The Canadian mathematicians around David Earn from McMaster University in Hamilton evaluated the data from previous flu waves for their analysis and also included the results of various medical studies on flu in the calculation. The basis of their investigation was the assumption that the antipyretic substances that are found in many flu drugs also have undesirable side effects. According to the researchers, this means that the agents reduce the natural function of fever, which normally slows the growth of viruses and bacteria and activates the immune system. In addition, taking many flu remedies will alleviate the symptoms so that the sick can return to work and the general public earlier.

“Fever can actually help reduce the number of viruses in a patient's body and the likelihood of spreading the disease to others. On the other hand, taking medication that lowers the fever can increase the transmission of the disease, "Earn explained to" CBC Hamilton ". The flu viruses then survive longer and can spread to the population over a longer period of time, which increases the epidemic.

Avoiding contact with other people during flu The researchers' calculation showed that taking flu medication with antipyretic substances results in five percent more people a year and more than a thousand additional deaths in North America alone. As Earn and his team tell us, the statistics are still inaccurate, but they may even give only a minimum value. Further studies are needed to get more accurate results.

However, important conclusions can already be drawn from the analysis and recommendations for action for patients can be derived. "What we can add to the current series of recommendations is that you should be extra careful," said Ben Bolker, professor of biology and math, to "CBC Hamilton." If you want to contribute to fatalities, you should avoid contact with others (if you have an existing flu disease). " (ag)

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