Paracetamol and Asthma link
14 August 2010
A new study suggests that children who take paracetamol frequently are more than twice as likely to have asthma.
The study looked at the paracetamol use of more than 300,000 13 and 14 year olds from over 50 different countries.
Professor Richard Beasley, who led the study, says children who took paracetamol at least once a month within the previous year had an increased risk of asthma.
He says the study also suggests people are in the habit of taking it for trivial symptoms.
Professor Beasley says parents should still give their children paracetamol, as it's safer than aspirin and ibuprofen, but should reserve its use for significant fever or discomfort.
Link between paracetamol, asthma incidence queried
Monday, 16 August 2010, 3:54 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Self-Medication Industry
Parents reassured: direct causal link between paracetamol and asthma incidence queried
The New Zealand Self Medication Industry (NZSMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, says it is aware of recent media reports of new research (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) suggesting a possible link between frequent paracetamol use in children and asthma.
.Paracetamol has a very long history of safe use in children,. says Tim Roper, executive director of the NZSMI.
.Although we have not yet seen the research, we note that Medsafe has already said that the latest research findings do not constitute a reason to stop using paracetamol in childhood.
.We need to consider the detail of research that is referred to and evaluate the specific outcomes and the strong claims being made. Often the link between the drug being taken and the condition cannot be directly related, that is, it is not causal.
.Our evidence shows that the benefit of paracetamol taken appropriately in the correct dosage far outweighs any risks of increasing the possibility of asthma later in the child.s life..
Mr Roper says, however, that parents and caregivers need to ensure that overuse is not a factor, especially in very young children, and he advises them to talk to a GP or pharmacist if no improvement is seen within 24 hours.
He adds paracetamol has been available for more than 50 years in New Zealand and the vast majority of children using it as directed experience no undesirable effects.
PARACETAMOL REDUCES FEVER = fever good immune reaction
no well trained immune reaction = body fights phantoms (and itself)