Fever in adults

If you feel your body heat increasing, check your temperature. For adults, 38°C or above is considered high. You might also experience symptoms, such as:

  • increased heat in your face, chest or back
  • warm or red skin
  • sweating
  • the chills (shivering)

If you’re concerned your fever is a symptom of COVID-19, get tested and stay at home until you get your result. Read more about how ibuprofen or paracetamol can help relieve symptoms of COVID-19.

What to do:

fever is a symptom, not an illness or condition. The cause of a fever will have an effect on how you treat it. Consider all of your symptoms and if you’re unsure, speak to your GP. Most fevers will relieve itself in a few days, and there are a number of things you can do to help relieve it at home, such as:

  • taking the time to rest and recuperate
  • drinking water: to avoid dehydration
  • taking paracetamol or ibuprofen: to help relieve symptoms

To see the symptoms and relief for fevers in children read Fever in children

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What to avoid:

While your body helps to fight any bacteria and viruses there are a few things you can avoid, such as:

  • alcohol: this can make dehydration worse
  • layering your clothes: keep it loose and comfortable so you don’t overheat
  • keeping the heating on: turn it off or lower the temperature to help you cool down


Common types of fevers:

In adults, the common temperature is 37°C and there are 4 categories of fever listed below.

  • Low grade fever:
    this is when your body temperature of 38°C
  • Moderate grade fever:
    this is when your body temperature is 39°C - 40°C or above
  • High grade fever:
    this is when your body temperature is 40°C - 41°C or above
  • Hyperpyrexia
    this is another type of high-grade fever when your body temperature is 41°C or above

Most fevers usually go away by themselves after few days. A reoccurring fever could be a sign of something more serious, even if it’s only a low-grade fever.

Why ibuprofen can help

Ibuprofen helps to ease pain and it has anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve fevers and reduce inflammation.

Nurofen Cold and Flu Relief 200mg/5mg can help

Nurofen Cold and Flu Relief tablets 200mg and 5mg, targets symptoms to help ease congestion. It contains ibuprofen to relieve aches and pains, headaches, and sore throats.

Frequent causes

There are a lot of things that can cause a high temperature or fever, but it's a sign your body is fighting an infection. The fever is your body's natural response to conditions such as:

  • flu
  • tonsillitis
  • kidney or urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Sickness isn’t always the reason you may experience a fever, it can also be caused by reactions to medicines, immunisations, or certain medical conditions.

When to speak to your GP:

Most fevers aren't in themselves life-threatening, however there are certain times when you may need to  seek medical advice. Speak to your GP or call NHS 24-hour service 111 if you:

  • have severe thirst
  • are using the bathroom less than usual
  • have darker than normal urine
  • feel light-headed and weak
  • have severe muscle cramps
  • feel your symptoms are getting worse
  • notice new symptoms
  • have been on a recent trip abroad