Is nyquil a fever reducer?

If you’re feeling under the weather, Nyquil might be your best bet. It promises to provide relief from all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms like coughing and congestion. But what about specifically fever? Can this over-the-counter medication help lower your body temperature when you’re running hot? Let’s dive into the world of Nyquil with our thermometers in hand.

The Science Behind Fevers

Before we get too carried away with cold medicine, let’s take a moment to understand why fevers happen in the first place. Your body temperature is carefully regulated by something called the hypothalamus (which sounds like a character from Game of Thrones but is actually just an organ in your brain). Normally, it keeps your internal temp somewhere around 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if there’s some sort of infection or illness in your system, cytokines (proteins that act as messenger cells) tell the hypothalamus to reset its thermostat and raise your core body temperature—this helps fight off whatever has invaded you by making things less hospitable for them.

Of course, fever itself can be pretty lousy: it can cause headaches, chills/sweating cycles that would give anyone whiplash (seriously though how do I pick out clothes???), dehydration…the list goes on. So anything that can bring down that number without harming the rest of my fragile human ecosystem is high on my sick day checklist.


Let’s take a look at this little green bottle and see if it fits the bill for fever-busting:

What’s In It?

Nyquil comes stocked with several active ingredients which work together to combat various symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen – aka Tylenol! This pain reliever/faver reducer combo is an old standby.
  • Dextromethorphan HBr – a cough suppressant that blocks signals in your brain, making you feel less…throaty(?)
  • Doxylamine Succinate – an antihistamine that helps dry up mucus and makes you sleepy.
  • Phenylephrine HCl- this ingredient is responsible for singlehandedly turning me into the human equivalent of a raisin. It’s a decongestant which constricts blood vessels, leading to relief from swelling.

Worth noting: Nyquil doesn’t include any ibuprofen or aspirin. The former can potentially raise body temp even more and both can irritate already-sensitive stomachs if taken without food.

But Does It Reduce Fevers?

The short answer? Yes! Acetaminophen (which like I mentioned before, is one of Nyquil’s main ingredients) lowers fevers by inhibiting certain pain centers in the body as well as blocking enzymes that cause inflammation.

However!! Don’t forget acetaminophen isn’t just sitting around twiddling its thumbs waiting for fever to strike— it instead tackles symptoms universally such as headaches, muscle soreness or chest pains. This means it might be working harder on other ailments than our little friend fever depending on what else you’re dealing with!

So overall while Nyquil certainly does bring down body temperature by dint of acetaminophen presence—it won’t necessarily be enough all alone to curb every symptom you may be experiencing.

Can You Take Anything Else With Nyquil To Treat Fever?

Ibuprofen would probably give us the most help here– While taking this medication after having already used Tylenol/acetaminophen inside of NyQuil—not ideal due to risking overdosing oneself—we know it redundantly comforts and reduces fevers at safe dosages when tendons are happy so we’d hate for anything stressful go wrong! There’e not really any point in doubling down on medication taking.

Some Bonus Sick Day Tips!

While we’re all here dredging through the misery of cold/flu season together, let’s take some time to consider other ways to keep ourselves as comfy as possible when our body temps are unpredictable tiny demons:

  • Always keep plenty of water or other non-caffeinated fluids around (the last thing you want is a headache on top of your chills)
  • Don’t be afraid to resort to cooler surroundings. You may feel like a hibernating polar bear but trust me—AC can be life-changing.
  • Speaking of which, light clothing and blankets with easy adjustability will give you maximum nap-potential!
  • Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory properties and might help soothe upset stomachs.
  • Of course this wouldn’t really apply for outside activities! But if under quarantine just getting out into some gentle fresh air every once in awhile can do wonders!!!

So there you have it folks: Nyquil is definitely equipped with the gears necessary to help bring down fevers, though don’t forget that they also tackle so much more than just that one symptom! Remembering accompanying additions w/Nyquil would decrease its effectiveness vs improving symptoms instead; watch oneself accordingly 🙂