Font Size

Fever in Adults (cont.)

Fever in Adults Treatment

The treatment of a fever depends on its cause. In most cases, except in hyperthermia, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given to lower the temperature. Fluids may be given by mouth or IV to prevent dehydration, if necessary.

  • Viral illnesses usually resolve without medical treatment. However, medications to help with specific symptoms can be given. These may include medications to lower fever, help with congestion, soothe a sore throat, or control a runny nose. Viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea may require IV fluids and medications to slow down the diarrhea and stop nausea. A few viral illnesses can be treated with antiviral medications. Herpes and the influenza virus are examples.
  • Bacterial illnesses require a specific antibiotic that depends on the type of bacteria found or where it is located in the body. The physician will determine whether the person is admitted to the hospital or sent home. This decision is based on the illness and the person's overall health status.
  • Most fungal infections can be treated with an antifungal medication.
  • Drug-induced fever is eliminated when the medication is stopped.
  • A blood clot requires admission to the hospital and blood-thinner medications.
  • Any person with an illness that inhibits the immune system will be evaluated closely and usually admitted to the hospital.
  • Environmental heat exposure requires aggressive cooling in the emergency department. The person's clothes will be removed, a cooling fan and cool mist will be used, and his or her vital signs will be monitored closely. Hyperthermic people will be admitted to the hospital.

Thyroid storm is treated by blocking hormone production with drugs like methimazole (Northyx, Tapazole) and iodine to block hormone release plus propranolol (Inderal) to further block the effects of thyroid hormones.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/10/2015

Cold & Flu Quiz IQ

Must Read Articles Related to Fever in Adults

Headache (Mild)
Mild Headache Mild headaches are common but usually do not represent a serious illness. They result from irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. Symptoms...learn more >>
Sore Throat
Sore Throat Sore throats are generally named for the anatomical site affected. The pharynx, tonsils, adenoids, larynx, and epiglottis. Sore throat treatment depends on the ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Fever (in Adults):

Fever in Adults - Treatment

What treatment was effective for your fever?

Fever (in Adults) - Causes

What caused your fever?

Fever (in Adults) - Experience and Symptoms

Please describe your experience with fever symptoms.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fever of Unknown Origin »

Fever of unknown origin (FUO) was defined in 1961 by Petersdorf and Beeson as the following: (1) a temperature greater than 38.3°C (101°F) on several occasions, (2) more than 3 weeks' duration of illness, and (3) failure to reach a diagnosis despite one week of inpatient investigation.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary