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Warning: Paracetamol could double the risk of asthma and eczema in teens

by , 05 August 2013

Over the years, overdoses from using paracetamol (a commonly prescribed pain killer) have been linked to deaths from acute liver failure. Now paracetamol is being linked to an increased risk of asthma and eczema in teenagers. Read on to find out why you must ensure your children never take acetaminophen.

New research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine links teen paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) use to an increased risk of developing both asthma and eczema.

Link between paracetamol and increased risk of asthma and eczema in teenagers

According to Nutrition & Healing, researchers looked at the use of paracetamol in 13- and 14-year-old kids.

‘Medium’ users, who used a paracetamol just once in the past year, had a 43% higher risk of asthma than kids who had never taken it. ‘High’ users, those who had taken it at least once in the last month had a risk 2.51 times higher than non-users.

Similar results were found for allergies in the teens and the risks for eczema were 31% higher in medium users over non-users and 99% higher in high users than in non-users.

According to Nutrition & Healing, this study isn’t actually the first to link paracetamol to asthma. A study in Ethiopia showed it’s possible that the acetaminophen itself causes the increased risk.

Scientists think the risk has something to do with the systemic inflammatory effect caused by paracetamol. They believe this could cause oxygen stress and lead to an allergic immune response. It’s also thought that paracetamol may suppress the immune response to infections which can lead to asthma.

It’s advisable that you ask your doctor for a safer alternative if he’s prescribed paracetamol for your child.

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