Although the need for routine antipyretic therapy in children has often been questioned, there are no data to contra-indicate this. Not all fevers need to be treated but many physicians do so to relieve parental concern. The most commonly used antipyretic drugs are acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), paracetamol (acetaminophen) and dipyrone (metamizol). Paracetamol and ASA have been extensively evaluated but there are few clinical trials on dipyrone. In the last decade a strong statistical association has been observed between salicylates and Reye syndrome. Paracetamol is the most common cause of acute hepatic failure. Dipyrone has been associated with agranulocytosis. In the light of these findings the extensive use of antipyretics drugs has been seriously questioned.