a3.docx - In addition to the probability that antipyretics...

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In addition to the probability that antipyretics may prolong the course of mild to moderate infectious illnesses, what other deleterious effects might they have? Russell et al. point out that little is known about the pharmacokinetics of these drugs in poorly or malnourished children. Even in developed countries, all available methods of antipyresis must be treated with respect. Warning labels became required for paracetamol recently and for aspirin in the more distant past. In addition to acute poisoning, the former has been implicated in the development of chronic renal disease, and perhaps liver failure, when repeatedly administered over prolonged periods of time (3). Perhaps more important is the fact that antipyretics mask symptoms or signs; children with pneumonia, for example, may not receive a proper diagnosis because their respiratory rate decreases (4) or because, when the body temperature starts to fall, the child may be considered to be on the way to recovery and thus needing no further observation. Finally, of course, the costs

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