Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers/fever reducers (the kind you can buy without a prescription) are safe and effective when used as directed. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain conditions or taking specific medicines. They can also cause problems in people who take too much, or use them for a longer period of time than the product’s Drug Facts label recommends. That is why it is important to follow label directions carefully. If you have questions, talk to a pharmacist or health care professional.
When you or your child has a fever, you want something that works quickly and works well. But with so many over-the-counter (OTC) medications available, it can be tough to know which one is best for you.
You can choose between two main types of OTC fever reducers: acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. In general, no particular one of these fever-reducing drugs is better than the others. Instead, you should compare the drug forms, side effects, and other factors to choose a fever reducer that will work well for you or your child. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

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