KUALA LUMPUR: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) prescribed for children aged below five years for the purpose of reducing fever, could expose them to higher risk of influenza complications.
In a statement issued yesterday, health director-general Datuk Dr Nor Hisham Abdullah said clinical evidence indicates that NSAIDs could increase the risk of influenza complications such as encephalitis, among children.
As such, he said the Health Ministry advises against the prescription of NSAIDs for children, and if necessary, appropriate doses of paracetamol should be given instead with tepid sponging applied to patients who should also be given sufficient drink to stay hydrated.
Dr Nor Hisham advised that sick children with fever should be taken to see the doctor immediately if the fever does not subside or influenza symptoms are experienced, such as the flu, sore throat, cough, headache, joint pain and fatigue.
According to a previous statement issued by Dr Nor Hisham on Dec 31, the rise in influenza cases was still in the normal range and almost similar to such occurrences in previous years, with monitoring of the outbreak being undertaken by using data obtained from several sentinel locations across the country.
As a measure to curb the spread of the illness, the ministry advised the public to observe high standards of personal hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or by using hand sanitisers. – Bernama