Paracetamol and ibuprofen are safe and effective medications for reducing a fever in children and young people and they are often administered together with a view to reducing a temperature quickly. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines dictate that only one of these drugs should be given at a time because there is no evidence to suggest that simultaneous use is more effective. This article summarises a literature search of randomised controlled trials carried out to identify which, if either, of these drugs is faster at reducing a fever. In the studies examined, ibuprofen was found to be marginally more effective. However, the maximum dose of paracetamol was not administered. There is a need for more methodologically sound research that uses equivalent doses of both drugs.