This review includes nine RCTs, describing 37 comparisons: six were NSAIDs versus placebo, and three were NSAIDs versus NSAIDs. A total of 1064 patients with the common cold were included. In a pooled analysis, NSAIDs did not significantly reduce the total symptom score, or duration of , for outcomes related to the analgesic effects of NSAIDs (headache, ear pain, and muscle and joint pain) NSAIDs produced significant benefits, and malaise showed a borderline benefit, although throat irritation was not improved. Chills showed mixed results. For respiratory symptoms, cough and nasal discharge scores were not improved, but the sneezing score significantly improved. We found no evidence of increased frequency of adverse effects in the NSAID treatment groups.
NSAIDS have antipyretic activity and can be used to treat fever.   Fever is caused by elevated levels of prostaglandin E2 , which alters the firing rate of neurons within the hypothalamus that control thermoregulation.   Antipyretics work by inhibiting the enzyme COX, which causes the general inhibition of prostanoid biosynthesis ( PGE2 ) within the hypothalamus .   PGE2 signals to the hypothalamus to increase the body's thermal set point.   Ibuprofen has been shown more effective as an antipyretic than paracetamol (acetaminophen).   Arachidonic acid is the precursor substrate for cyclooxygenase leading to the production of prostaglandins F, D & E.