19 September 2008

Paracetamol Use and Asthma Risk

...researchers pored through data provided by parents of more than 205,000 children and found paracetamol use in the first year of life was associated with a 46 percent higher risk of asthma by the time the children were 6 or 7 compared to those never exposed to the drug.

Known as
acetaminophen in the United States, where it is widely sold under the brand Tylenol, it is used to relieve fever, minor aches and pain, and is used in a liquid suspension for children.

Medium use of paracetamol in the past 12 months increased asthma risk by 61 percent, while high dosages of once a month or more in the past year raised the risk by over three times.

Medium use was defined as once per year or more, but less than once a month.
~ Reuters, 18 Sept 2008

What can I say?

It is impossible to survive childhood without taking paracetamol. Years have passed and medical advances have taken place, but paracetamol still remains as the forefront medication for fever. And that's not just in children. That's for everyone.

Even with that asthma risk --- if it's true --- this is one case when both doctors and parents will agree that the benefits of bringing down the temperature during moments of high fever still outweigh the risk of developing asthma or any other condition.

As with any other useful medication, maybe the best advice is to use paracetamol judiciously.
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