Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Use of Acetaminophen in Children Suffering from Asthma Or Predisposed It may not be a Good Idea

We commonly use acetaminophen for fever, headache as an analgesic and antipyretic. It is also used in children for the purpose. It is considered as a safe drug for fever and chill; alone or in combination with other drugs.
An article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, shows that use of acetaminophen in pediatric age group having asthma or predisposed to asthma may worsen their condition.
Their study on thousands of children in more than 54 countries having different cultures concludes that the drug might have contributed to steep increase in incidence of asthma.

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The prevalence of pediatric asthma in the United States increased from 3.6 in 1980 to 5.8 percent in 2003. Similar rises occurred throughout the world in areas where acetaminophen use is prevalent
National Institute of Health in 1998 recognized that there can be a casual link between use of acetaminophen and incidence of asthma.
Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson maintains that acetaminophen is safe for children and says there are no randomized studies showing a causal link between the drug and asthma.
Use of acetaminophen rode popularity in early 1980s, when it was recognized that use of aspirin in case of chickenpox might cause Reye's Syndrome, where there could be fatal damage to liver and brain.
Acetaminophen might increase airway inflammation in asthmatic patients or people with a genetic predisposition to the condition. And exposure to acetaminophen in utero or during the first year of life might increase the likelihood of suffering from asthma later.
Till new researches, randomized double-blind studies come up on the subject, perhaps, it is better to find alternative treatment option for the children suffering from fever.
Fevers are body's natural response to infection and do not always point to an emergency. A child has a fever, if a rectal temperature is above 100.4 degrees.
Perhaps, one must be more cautious while using on the counter acetaminophen; and rather should consult their doctor and possibly opt for ibuprofen, if doctor thinks suitable.

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