Table 1

 Baseline characteristics of children with fever randomised to three treatment groups. Values are numbers (percentages) of children unless stated otherwise

CharacteristicParacetamol (n=52)Ibuprofen (n=52)Paracetamol plus ibuprofen (n=52)
Boy26 (50)37 (71)25 (48)
Girl26 (50)15 (29)27 (52)
Mean (SD) weight (kg)13.0 (4.2)13.4 (3.9)12.6 (3.3)
Mean (SD) age (months)28.7 (17.7)28.1 (17.4)25.1 (13.4)
Age (months)*:
 6-1720 (38)18 (35)19 (37)
 18-7132 (62)34 (65)33 (63)
Mean (SD) baseline temperature (°C)38.6 (0.6)38.6 (0.6)38.6 (0.6)
Temperature (°C)*:
 <3937 (71)37 (71)39 (75)
 39-4115 (29)15 (29)13 (25)
Fever duration (hours)*:
 ≤2418 (35)19 (37)19 (37)
 >2434 (65)33 (63)33 (63)
Antibiotic use*:
 Yes14 (27)15 (29)17 (33)
 No38 (73)37 (71)35 (67)
Paracetamol use 4-6 hours before randomisation:
 Yes20 (38)17 (33)20 (38)
 No32 (62)35 (67)32 (62)
Ibuprofen use 6-8 hours before randomisation:
 Yes4 (8)2 (4)3 (6)
 No48 (92)50 (96)49 (94)
Discomfort*:
 Normal3 (6)5 (9)5 (9)
 Not quite normal31 (60)27 (52)30 (58)
 Some pain or distress18 (34)18 (35)14 (27)
 Crying or very distressed0 (0)2 (4)3 (6)
Activity:
 Normal3 (6)4 (8)4 (8)
 Quiet for longer than usual12 (23)18 (35)23 (45)
 Hardly moving about31 (60)19 (36)19 (36)
 Not moving about willingly6 (11)11 (21)6 (11)
Appetite:
 Normal5 (10)3 (6)4 (8)
 Eating less than normal12 (23)14 (27)10 (19)
 Eating much less than normal35 (67)33 (63)36 (69)
 Vomiting or refusing food or drink0 (0)2 (4)2 (4)
Sleep:
 Normal8 (15)3 (6)4 (8)
 More than usual20 (38)21 (40)20 (38)
 More disturbed than usual9 (17)15 (29)10 (19)
 A lot more disturbed than usual15 (29)13 (25)18 (35)
Recruitment method:
 Local17 (33)18 (35)10 (19)
 Remote27 (52)26 (50)31 (60)
 Community8 (15)8 (15)11 (21)
Ethnicity:
 White47 (90)47 (90)44 (85)
 Other5 (10)5 (10)8 (15)
Diagnosis:
 Otitis media7 (14)11 (20)8 (14)
 Respiratory tract infection12 (23)15 (28)17 (33)
 Non-specific viral illness21 (40)20 (37)16 (31)
 Other12 (23)8 (15)11 (22)
Previous febrile convulsion:
 Yes2 (4)1 (2)2 (4)
 No50 (96)51(9)50 (96)
Asthma:
 Yes9 (17)4 (8)6 (12)
 No43 (83)48 (92)46 (88)

*Minimisation criterion (baseline temperature included as continuous variable in all models; baseline discomfort minimised distinguishing the top and bottom two levels because of anticipated frequencies but included as four level categorical variable in all models).