Starve a fever?

Chat with Pharmacy Staff

Question

Is it true that you should follow the old saying, "Starve a fever, feed a cold"?

Answer

The old saying "Starve a fever, feed a cold" is not recommended practice if you have a cold and fever.

The theory behind this old wives' tale probably was that if you have a fever, you need to put less fuel in your body to cool off - in other words, starving a fever. On the other hand, if you are chilled, you need to eat to warm up, so you should indeed feed a cold.

In any case, standard medical advice today for fighting off a "bug" or infection in your body is that you need energy, and food is what can provide that the energy. Eat what your appetite allows, and drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids.

Learn more about fever in the Health Encyclopedia.

View products for treating fevers available on Walgreens.com .

Back to Pharmacist FAQs

If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.

DISCLAIMER:
Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a Walgreens.com pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.