Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Paracetamol 'linked' to asthma

29 November 2010, 09:24

Wellington - The use of paracetamol for infants may be linked to the development of allergies and asthma later on, according to a report.

But more research is needed to clarify this and the benefits of paracetamol use for fever control still outweigh the potential of later allergy development, said Julian Crane, a professor at Otago University in Wellington and author of the report.

"The problem is that paracetamol is given quite liberally to young children," he said.

"There's a lot of evidence suggesting that something is going on here. It's not completely clear-cut, that's the problem."

The report, which has appeared in Clinical and Experimental Allergy journal, is based on the New Zealand Asthma and Allergy Cohort Study, which investigated use of paracetamol for 505 infants in Christchurch and 914 five and six-year-olds in Christchurch to see if they developed signs of asthma or allergic sensitivity.


"The major finding is that children who used paracetamol before the age of 15 months (90%) were more than three times as likely to become sensitised to allergens and twice as likely to develop symptoms of asthma at 6 years old than children not using paracetamol," Crane said in a statement.

"However, at present we don't know why this might be so. We need clinical trials to see whether these associations are causal or not, and to clarify the use of this common medication."

The research found that by six years of age, 95% of the study sample was using paracetamol and there was a significant increased risk for asthma and wheezing.

But the findings depended on how much paracetamol was being used, with the risk greater for those with severe asthma symptoms.

Crane said there were few other options for fever control in young children, noting that aspirin has dropped out of favour over about the last 30 years due to links between aspirin use and the potentially fatal illness Reye's syndrome in children.

"That timing fits quite well with the rise in the prevalence of allergies, but that may just be coincidence," Crane said.

He said that in the absence of other options and studies establishing a firm causal link, paracetamol should still be used for now.

"If I had a child with a fever, I'd give them paracetamol," he added.

- Reuters

Tags health

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...