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Baby has high fever, cold and cough with blocked nose. Will medicines reduce her immunity? What can be done?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
My BABY is getting fever upto 101-102 degree Celsius from last 4 days and has got little cold & cough symptoms which blocks her nose while sleeping at night.

We are giving her medicine to reduce the fever as prescribed by the doctor and fever goes away for 5-6 hr after giving medicine.

Shall we avoid giving her medicine to let her body fight with fever causing virus in the body? Are we reducing her immunity by giving her medicine every time?

I and my wife has difference in opinion and my stand is to avoid medicine to increase her immunity.

Doctors also asked us to avoid medicine as per as possible and do not take cough & cold that seriously. And I think this is the way it should be but my wife is furious because she has seen doctors in India who gave medicine every time we talks to them.

Please advise.

Posted Thu, 14 Jun 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 1 hour later

You had not mentioned what is the medicine prescribed by the doctor. I presume this is just a Tylenol / Tylenol cold as it is the medicine that is prescribed to reduce fever and associated cold.

If the temperature measured shoots over 101, I advice giving a fever reducing medicine. I also advice giving a cold and cough medicine when it hinders the sleep of a baby.

If a baby has to develop antibodies (immunity in your terms) he/she should not be given antibiotic unless the cough or cold goes beyond seven days. In your case if your child doctor thinks as viral infection there is no need for an antibiotic. However tylenol and cough medicines can be given to make the child eat and sleep well.

I hope I tried to bust the myths that revolve around gaining immunity in children. Antibiotics are generally given only during bacterial infections and long standing viral infections.

Please use any answer clarifications further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Baby has high fever, cold and cough with blocked nose. Will medicines reduce her immunity? What can be done? 25 minutes later
We are giving ibuprofen for fever and Diphenhydranine hydrochloride anthihistamine for cold.

Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 11 hours later

They are absolutely safe drugs for most children, hence are approved to be sold over the counter by FDA.

I reassure you and my earlier reply was affirmative.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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