Definition of Antipyretic

Antipyretic: Something that reduces fever or quells it.

There are 3 classes of antipyretic medications that are sold OTC (over-the-counter) without prescription:

  • Salicylates -- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), choline salicylate (Arthropan), magnesium salicylate (Arthriten), and sodium salicylate (Scot-Tussin Original);
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol); and
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and ketoprofen.

From anti-, against + the Greek pyretos, fever from pyr, fire. The same root gives rise to pyrexia, a medical term for fever.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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