What causes recurrent fever and what should I do about it?

Symptom Database

Recurrent fever can be a frustrating and concerning symptom. It is characterized by the occurrence of fever episodes that happen repeatedly over a period of time. This can be a cause for worry, as it may indicate an underlying health condition. In this article, we will explore the various causes of recurrent fever and discuss what steps you can take to address it.

Understanding Recurrent Fever

Recurrent fever refers to the occurrence of fever episodes that happen repeatedly, with periods of normal body temperature in between. It is different from persistent fever, which is a continuous fever that lasts for an extended period of time without any breaks. Frequent fever, chronic fever, and continuous fever are all terms that can be used interchangeably with recurrent fever.

Causes of Recurrent Fever


One of the most common causes of recurrent fever is an underlying infection. Infections such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and viral illnesses can lead to episodes of fever that come and go. These infections may require medical treatment to fully resolve the fever.

Inflammatory Conditions

Some inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, can cause recurrent fever as a symptom. These conditions involve the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking its own tissues, leading to inflammation and fever. Treating the underlying inflammatory condition is crucial in managing the recurrent fever.

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, can also result in recurrent fever. Conditions like systemic lupus erythematosus or vasculitis can cause episodes of fever along with other symptoms. Managing the autoimmune disorder through medication and lifestyle changes can help alleviate the recurrent fever.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications can cause recurrent fever as a side effect. It is important to review your medication list with your healthcare provider to determine if any of the medications you are taking could be contributing to the fever episodes. Adjusting the dosage or switching to an alternative medication may be necessary to address this issue.

What Should You Do About Recurrent Fever?

If you are experiencing recurrent fever, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Here are some steps you can take:

Keep a Fever Diary

Keeping a record of your fever episodes can provide valuable information to your healthcare provider. Note down the date, time, duration, and any accompanying symptoms. This can help identify patterns and potential triggers for the recurrent fever.

Seek Medical Evaluation

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your recurrent fever. They will perform a thorough physical examination and may order additional tests, such as blood work or imaging, to help identify the underlying cause. This evaluation is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment plan.

Follow Treatment Recommendations

Once the underlying cause of the recurrent fever is identified, your healthcare provider will recommend a treatment plan. This may involve medications, lifestyle changes, or other interventions depending on the specific cause. It is important to follow these recommendations closely to effectively manage the recurrent fever.

Practice Good Hygiene

Preventing infections is crucial in managing recurrent fever. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and keeping your living environment clean. These simple measures can help reduce the risk of infections that may trigger fever episodes.

Manage Underlying Conditions

If the recurrent fever is caused by an underlying condition such as an autoimmune disorder or inflammatory condition, it is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage and treat these conditions. This may involve taking prescribed medications, attending regular check-ups, and making lifestyle modifications.


Recurrent fever can be a concerning symptom, but with proper evaluation and treatment, it can be effectively managed. By understanding the various causes of recurrent fever and taking appropriate steps, you can work towards alleviating this symptom and improving your overall health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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