How to Lower a Fever in Adults

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Lower a Fever in Adults

Fever is the body's natural reaction to an invader or infection in the body. The increase in body temperature is the result of the body's response to infection. Fever is usually accompanied by unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. An infection is the most common cause of fever. Other causes include excessive sun exposure, allergic reactions and an adverse reaction to a vaccine. In this OneHowTo article, we explain how to lower a fever in adults.

You'll need:
  • Fever thermometer
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ginger ale, soda, water, various other drinks
  • Ice cubes
You may also be interested in: How to Quickly Lower a Fever
Steps to follow:

Before we tell you how to lower a fever in adults, you should know that if you have an infant 3 months old or younger with fever, you should call a doctor immediately, even if the baby does not present any other symptoms. For children older than 2 years old with fevers 38.9ºC (102.02ºF) and higher, children's medication may be used to reduce the discomfort. Always avoid giving aspirin to children, as it could cause severe adverse effects. Find out how to take a baby's temperature and what is the normal temperature in babies.

For adults, if your fever is below 38.9ºC (102.02ºF), medication is not needed. Simply get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids. A cold bath and drinking cold fluids may help with reducing your temperature.


Closely control fever. Take your temperature regularly to determine if your condition is worsening. If the fever continues to rise to 39.0ºC or higher (102.2ºF) or shows no signs of decline, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce it. This will also help alleviate some of the pain and other bothersome symptoms associated with fever.


Stay hydrated. The body needs fluids to fight whatever is causing the fever. If your stomach is upset and struggles to keep liquids down try sucking on ice or drinking ginger ale or soda. The replacement of fluids is especially important if you experience vomiting or diarrhea.

Suck on an ice cube or fruit ice cream. Apart from drinking water, follow a liquid diet with soups and jelly. You can have solid food as you start to feel better.

How to Lower a Fever in Adults - Step 3

Position yourself as comfortably as possible so that your body can fight off the fever. Wear lightweight clothing and keep the room cool. Try taking a tepid bath or running a cold sponge or cloth on yourself.


Consult your doctor if the fever is very high or if it lasts for several days. A temperature of over 39° C (102.2ºF) is generally considered very high. You should also seek medical attention if you experience confusion, sharp headache, painful urination, stiff neck, seizures, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Lower a Fever in Adults, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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1 comment
Denise Evans
At what point is someone put in an ice bath or is that still done these days?

OneHowTo Editor
Hi Denise,

An ice bath is not useful in reducing a fever. In fact, it can cause problems by increasing the core body temperature, even though the skin is freezing. It also can help worsen the underlying cause of the fever.
Just Me
cold showers or baths only temporarily cool you, the body will start to shiver. The muscles contracting (shivering) generates internal heat. This will add to the already high internal temperature. Some people may experience shock weakening the body's ability to fight whatever is causing the fever.
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