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Do antipyretics prevent febrile convulsions?
  1. A Sahib El-Radhi,
  2. W Barry
  1. Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, Kent, UK

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A 1 year old child is admitted following their first febrile seizure (FS). We wish to prevent recurrences during further febrile episodes. The nursing staff ask you to prescribe an antipyretic. Later you come to advise the parents on methods of preventing further febrile seizures.

Structured clinical question

In children who have experienced a febrile seizure [patient] does prescribing antipyretics [intervention] reduce recurrences of febrile seizures [outcome]?

Search strategy

Secondary sources

Cochrane Library and DARE—“febrile convulsions/seizures and antipyretics”, “febrile convulsions/seizures and paracetamol”, “febrile convulsions/seizures and ibuprofen”; one systematic review found (paracetamol for treating fever in children); two protocols.

Prodigy Evidence Based Clinical guidance—“febrile convulsions”; nil relevant found.

Primary resources

Pubmed clinical queries (1966 to Jan 2003): “antipyretics and febrile convulsions”—80 references. Of these, three were randomised controlled trials but one was irrelevant (investigating antipyretic effects rather than subsequent seizure reduction).


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  • Bob Phillips