Thursday, November 11, 2010

Acetaminophen Linked to Asthma

Childhood asthma, a common disorder which causes shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness in the chest, has just been linked to the use of acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is widely used as an over the counter pain reliever in children because of its perceived safety.

Asthma in children has actually been on the rise at an alarming rate for the past two decades. Aside from speculation about dietary and environmental causes, there has not been solid evidence as to what the real cause is for this increase.

That is, until now. Studies have shown that acetaminophen use in toddlers resulted in asthma-like symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty catching breath. The correlation occurred because symptoms were noticed directly after taking this popular over the counter pain reliever.


Even after the data was adjusted, allowing for the increase in breathing difficulty which fevers and colds may cause, the statistics still showed a strong correlation. Toddlers and children may not be the only ones affected. Further studies suggest that teenagers who take acetaminophen products also are more prone to developing asthma.

The studies go further to suggest that teens that take this pain reliever at least once a month are also more prone to allergic reactions and eczema, an allergic skin condition. Collectively, data suggests that acetaminophen may be responsible for up to 40% of asthma attacks.

These separate research projects, when gathered together, suggest that acetaminophen increases our body`s allergic response as an unintended side effect. It seems counter intuitive because this drug is an "anti-inflammatory" drug, and inflammation is basically at the heart of allergic reactions and asthma.

However, it does help explain the steady increase in asthma cases over the past fifty years. Fifty years ago was about when this popular drug was introduced to a mass market.

NSAID`s (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), the family of pain relievers which acetaminophen belongs to, are no stranger to negative side effects. The laundry list of potential side effects include, but are not limited to, stomach ulcers, kidney failure, hypertension, diarrhea and vomiting.

Alternative remedies and treatments for pain relief may gain even more ground thanks to this revealing discovery. Some of the alternative treatments that are available for pain relief include acupuncture, various herbal remedies, heat and hydrotherapy, and hypnosis.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your writing style. Such a nice Post, Can’t wait for the next one.
    Dell Laptops

    ReplyDelete