Most children recover fully from roseola within a week of the onset of the fever. With your doctor's advice, you can give your child over-the-counter medications to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).
Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 3, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.
There's no specific treatment for roseola, although some doctors may prescribe the antiviral medication ganciclovir (Cytovene) to treat the infection in people with weakened immunity. Antibiotics aren't effective in treating viral illnesses, such as roseola.
May 28, 2015
- Tremblay C, et al. Roseola infantum (exanthem subitum). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Tremblay C, et al. Human herpes virus 6 infection in children: Clinical manifestations; diagnosis; and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Mamishi S, et al. Prevalence of HHV-6 in cerebrospinal fluid of children younger than 2 years of age with febrile convulsion. Iranian Journal of Microbiology. 2014;6(2):87. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4281666/. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Roseola infantum. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/miscellaneous_viral_infections_in_infants_and_children/roseola_infantum.html?qt=human herpesvirus 6&alt=sh. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- NINDS Reye's syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reyes_syndrome/reyes_syndrome.htm. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- What is the role of aspirin in triggering Reye's? National Reye's Syndrome Foundation. http://www.reyessyndrome.org/aspirin.html. Accessed April 8, 2015.