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An`ti*py*ret"ic (#), a. Med.

Efficacious in preventing or allaying fever.



A febrifuge.


© Webster 1913.


A drug that is used to treat fever because of its ability to lower body temperature that is elevated above the normal. Antipyretics relieve fever through their effects on the temperature regulating center in the hypothalamus of the brain. Their actions cause dilation of the blood vessels (capillary beds) in the skin, bringing overheated blood to the surface for cooling; in addition, the sweatglands are stimulated to provide copious perspiration that cools the body further through evaporation. An antipyretic drug may also be analgesic (acetominophen), or analgesic and anti-inflammatory (aspirin).

--From The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs

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