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Acetaminophen Link To Asthma?

Posted by drg. Ardyan Gilang Rahmadhan SKG. On 12:57 AM

According to a study out Thursday, acetaminophen or also known as parasetamol may be responsible for as many as four in 10 cases wheezing and severe asthma in adolescents. While no one knows if the drug itself causes asthma, other report, published in conjunction with the first study, shows for the first time that many toddlers take acetaminophen before they develop symptoms of asthma such as wheezing.

"We have confirmed that the use of acetaminophen come first, so the more likely a causal relationship," said Dr Alemayehu Amberbir, from the University of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and the University of Nottingham in England.

But large-scale clinical tests are necessary before you clean out your medicine cabinet, stressed Amberbir, findings published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
His team followed more than 1,000 babies in Ethiopia for three years. When infants turned one, the researchers asked the mothers if their babies breathing problems, and how much they are using acetaminophen.

Approximately eight percent of the children started to wheeze between ages one and three. Those who had been given acetaminophen during their first year - before they have difficulty breathing - it is up to seven times wheezing development opportunities.

The increase was maintained even after adjusting for fever and cough, which in principle can trigger both wheezing and use of painkillers. "What we have is more information and a strong association between acetaminophen use and asthma," said Dr Dipak Kanabar, who has written a guide on painkillers, but was not involved in the new study.

But Kanabar, a consultant pediatrician at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London, cautioned that considering the parents are not always accurate, which may affect the findings. "We must be careful when we advise parents to emphasize that this study does not mean that giving acetaminophen certainly will result in their child developing asthma," he said.

But if the link was real, could have a major impact on public health, according to another report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In that study, based on more than 320 000 teenagers from 50 countries, 11 percent of children have difficulty breathing - just slightly more than the percentage of American children who have asthma.
They are teenagers who took acetaminophen at least once a month - one third overall, and more than four in 10 Americans - twice the likelihood of their wheezing. They are also more likely to have nasal allergies and eczema skin condition, Dr. Richard W. Beasley, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, and colleagues.
The researchers estimate that acetaminophen could potentially be responsible for up to four in 10 of all asthma symptoms, including heavy panting like getting up once a week or more.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that sells Tylenol, said in comments of their products "has more than 50 years of clinical history to support the safety and efficacy."

"Well-documented safety profile for both acetaminophen painkiller made for asthma sufferers a choice," the company said Reuters Health in an e-mail. The company says there is no gold-standard clinical trials showed "a causal link between acetaminophen and asthma."

However, Kanabar found in his review of medical literature that ibuprofen - another painkiller, is sometimes sold as Advil - apparently not trigger the wheezing of acetaminophen.
Ibuprofen, however, is not recommended in people with asthma, Kanabar said, and that the physician's most profitable Tylenol. Aspirin, painkillers other common, generally disappointed in children because it can cause short-term respiratory problems and other side effects are rare.

According Kanabar, analgesics dropped entirely possible a bad idea, and can cause the child feel worse and less drinking fluids, which can slow the recovery.
So who should painkillers parents choose if their child has a headache or fever - Tylenol or ibuprofen?
At this point, Kanabar said, "You can go for good."

Source: Reuters

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