Journal Article

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Acetaminophen, Cyclooxygenase 2, and Fever

Daniel L. Simmons, David Wagner and Kenneth Westover

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue Supplement_5, pages S211-S218
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/317517
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Acetaminophen, Cyclooxygenase 2, and Fever

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used antipyretic agents that most probably exert their antifever effect by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. Thus, COX-2-selective drugs or null mutation of the COX-2 gene reduce or prevent fever. Acetaminophen is antipyretic and analgesic, as are NSAIDs, but it lacks the anti-inflammatory and anticoagulatory properties of these drugs. This has led to the speculation that a COX variant exists that is inhibitable by acetaminophen. An acetaminophen-inhibitable enzyme is inducible in the mouse J774.2 monocyte cell line. Induction of acetaminophen-inhibitable prostaglandin E2 synthesis parallels induction of COX-2. Thus, inhibition of pharmacologically distinct COX-2 enzyme activity by acetaminophen may be the mechanism of action of this important antipyretic drug.

Journal Article.  6020 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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