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Essay On Acetaminophen

Decent Essays
Question
Is acetaminophen an effective post vaccination preventative agent for fever in infants?
Background
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the core temperature of the human body. This organ which is located above the brainstem ensures that the body is kept at a temperature between 97.5 and 98.9 °F (36.4°C and 37.2°C). Small proteins known as pyrogens can stimulate prostaglandin release in the body and increase body temperature beyond this range. 1 These increases can be medication induced or due to other underlying pathophysiology. An increase beyond this temperature range can be classified as a fever. In infants, the gold standard for classification of a fever is a rectal temperature greater than 100.4°F. It is important to treat fever in an appropriate manner because infants with elevated body temperatures are at an increased risk of having febrile seizures especially if they have a history of these episodes. Acetaminophen is an over the counter medication that can be used to reduce fever in patients by inhibiting cyclooxygenase.
Primary Literature
In the prospective clinical trial “Effect of Prophylactic Acetaminophen Administration on DTP Vaccination”, a randomized, double blind study, a group of infants receiving a 75mg dose of
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Both trials showed there was no definitive reduction in the mean temperature of the experimental group compared to the placebo or non-prophylactic group. Although the second clinical trial showed a significant reduction in the incidence of fever in the prophylactic group during the first 6 hours post-injection, the amount of doses needed to stabilize patients was about the same as the non-prophylactic group. I would recommend that acetaminophen be used on an as needed basis and not as a prophylactic agent for infants receiving
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