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Antifever drug betters stroke outcome

Over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer Paracetamol, whose active ingredient is Acetaminophen is found effective in the prognosis of the stroke. The fever-reducer acetaminophen lowers body temperature in people who have had a stroke, according to a new study conducted in The Netherlands.

Rise in the body temperature during the first few days, though small enough that they hardly manifest as fever, has been linked to poorer outcomes including an increased risk of death. In their study, which included 75 stroke patients who were put on 5 day course of high- or low-dose acetaminophen or an inactive placebo. Twenty-four hours after treatment began, body temperature was an average of 0.4 degrees Celsius lower in patients taking a high dose of acetaminophen than in patients taking the placebo, according to the report.

Dr. Diederik W J Dippel of the University Hospital Rotterdam said there had been very little research done on this perspective. It is also unknown whether lowering body temperature in stroke patients with normal temperature might improve their odds of recovery.

Eventhough the a difference of 0.4 degrees celcius may not seem impressive it is noted that the risk of stroke patients dying doubles for every increase of 1 degree celcius.

"Though its effects may be modest in size," Dippel added, "it is cheap and has almost no harmful effects."

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