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お医者さん
お医者さん

インフルエンザに解熱剤は必要?使用する時の注意点

医師

インフルエンザの症状には高熱を発するという症状があります。熱が高く出るとだるくなったり関節が痛んだり朦朧としたりして、とてもつらいものですね。

こういった高熱が出るのはどうしてなのでしょうか?また、解熱剤を使用するのはいいのでしょうか?よくないのでしょうか?

今回はインフルエンザでの熱が出る理由と解熱剤の使用について、紹介していきましょう。

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インフルエンザになるとなぜ高熱が出るのか

まずはインフルエンザに感染すると高熱を発症してしまうその理由に迫ってみましょう。

インフルエンザで高熱を発するメカニズム

医師

風邪と違い、インフルエンザはインフルエンザウィルスに感染することで発症します。このとき体内ではどのようなことが起きているのでしょうか?

インフルエンザに感染すると、体内ではまず防御機能が働きます。ウィルスをやっつける働きです。この働きを活性化させるためには熱が必要です。

高熱を発することで体内からウィルスを排除しようとする働きが強くなるためにこのような症状が現れるというわけです。

インフルエンザウィルスは低温低湿を好み、このような環境下で増殖する傾向があります。体内抗体の生産力を高め、抗ウィルス作用を生み出すためには高熱が必要なのです。よくインフルエンザで解熱剤を使うのはよくないと言われるのはそのためです。

高熱が出ると様々な症状で辛い状態になりますが、解熱剤を使うという行為はいわゆる対症療法の一つで根幹治療にはなりません。ただ高熱を発症し続けると、体力が著しく低下していくなどの理由から熱を下げる必要がある場合もあります。

高熱で生じる症状には体力低下とともに、強い吐き気や下痢、鼻水・咳などがあります。また、合併症には肺炎や気管支炎、脳炎・脳症、心筋症、意識障害、痙攣、肝障害などがあります。これらはいずれも入院するなどの集中治療を必要とします。

医学的にも本来は人体の免疫力で投薬せずに治癒するというのが理想だと言われていますが、その症状と年齢や体力などを考慮して、投薬したり熱を下げたりすることを決めるのが良いとされています。

高熱だけを軽視して強い解熱剤を服用したり弱い解熱剤でも多用したりすると、免疫力の低下から上記のような合併症や二次感染を引き起こしてしまうことになってしまいます。

このような高熱になったときは脱水症状になりやすく免疫力を維持するためにもしっかりと水分を補給し、部屋の温度と湿度を上げ、食べられる程度でいいので少しでも食事をとり安静にすることが大切です。

インフルエンザで解熱剤を使用するときの注意点とは

インフルエンザに解熱剤を使用するかどうかはケースバイケースだという事がだんだんわかってきました。

ここからは具体的な使用時の注意について紹介していくことにしましょう。

解熱剤には様々な種類があることを知っておく

解熱剤の成分にはアセトアミノフェンやサリチル酸系、ジクロフェナトリウム、メフェナム酸などがあります。市販の大人用にはアスピリンやポルタレンなどもあります。

使用できる種類を知っておく

子供の場合は特に熱から脳炎が起きやすいと言われています。インフルエンザで使えるのはアセトアミノフェンのみにしておいた方が良いと言われています。
かといって頻繁に使うのもよくないとされています。タミフルの使用で後遺症が発症したという話は一時期よくニュースでも話題になりました。特に1歳未満の子供には安全性がないと言われています。また、10歳未満にも処方しない場合が殆どとも言われています。なお、10歳以上の未成年についてはタミフルの使用が禁じれらているのが現状です。

成分については先ほど説明しましたが、インフルエンザの熱の場合は脳炎を悪化させる恐れがある解熱鎮痛剤は使用を控えなければなりませんので、含有成分をしっかりと把握しておく必要があります。

いきなり解熱剤を使わない

解熱剤を使用する意味は、高熱になったときに免疫力や細胞の機能障害が起きてしまうのを防ぐためです。人の細胞は41.5℃を超えると機能障害が始まり、42℃以上の高熱が続くと障害を受けた細胞が元に戻らなくなってしまいます。脳炎などはこのようなことが原因で起きてしまいます。

しかし、インフルエンザに限らず熱を発することでウィルスに対して抵抗力を高めるという自然治癒力がありますので、熱が出た場合の解熱剤の使用目安は38.5℃とされています。

つまり、インフルエンザウィルスに対して抵抗力を高め、加えて熱が高熱になりすぎないように制限することが重要だという事になります。

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まとめ:インフルエンザ時に解熱剤を使うコツ

インフルエンザで解熱剤を使用するときの注意点をまとめてみました。使用を間違えたり成分が異なるものを使うと効果がないばかりか人命にかかわるインフルエンザと解熱剤の関係をしっかりとつかんでおきましょう。

  • 解熱剤の使用は38.5℃が目安
  • ある程度は熱で免疫力を維持する
  • 急激な解熱をしない
  • 含有成分はアセトアミノフェンのものを使う
  • 早めに医師の診断を受ける

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Check Also

考える

症状が似ているインフルエンザと扁桃腺炎を見分けるポイント

  インフルエンザと症状のよく …

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