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Diagnosed with double pneumonia. Fever not getting cured by medicine. Should I be concerned?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My husband was diagnosed with double pnemonia five days ago and prescribed a course of strong antibiotics (Levofloxacin) to take for seven days and an albuterol inhaler (2 puffs every 4 hours). He is also taking ibuprofen (400 mg every 4 hours), however his fever is not residing and his body seems to be having a hard time regulating itself (he can be boiling hot at one point in time, then ice cold 2 hours later). We are regulating the temperature of the house at approximately 75 degrees, using cold compresses, and he is drinking ice water. Should we be concerned that the fever is not residing? Or do you have any tips for strategies we can use to provide him some relief?
Posted Fri, 3 Aug 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 31 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
Fever is a body's protective response to fight against infection and helps in increasing the blood circulation however very high fever can be harmful to the brain hence doctors prescribe antipyretic medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen .
If the fever isn't in control with maximum doses of ibuprofen as prescribed now then the following might be done,
1. Alternative antipyretics like Acetaminophen and ibuprofen combination or mefenamic acid might prove helpful usually taken as one tablet every 6 hourly.
2. It is very very important to maintain his hydration with plenty of water preferably normal tap / filter drinking water rather than icecold water , throughout the day.
3. Tepid Sponging his whole body with cotton washcloth dipped in tap water might temporarily provide external cooling .
4. Albuterol containing a beta blocker salmutamol may sometimes cause increase in temperature and heart beats and taking it 4 hourly might be causing a higher risk of sideffects . But since it's inhaled it is definitely safer than oral salbutamol .
Only precaution to be taken is to titrate or decrease the dose as per improvement of breathlessness and chest auscultation findings over the next couple of days.

A pneumonia may take some time to respond to oral antibiotics ( hence Iv antibiotics are preferred in severe cases . So kindly have patience for the antibiotic to control the infection and fever which might take about 3 days .
If even after that the fever persists then it's best to get reevaluated by the treating doctor to rule out a resistant or complicated pneumonia by appropriate examination and investigations.
Hope I have answered your query .
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.

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