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Parents Reassured: Direct Causal Link Between Paracetamol And Asthma Incidence Queried

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Voxy Newswire
Voxy Newswire
Parents Reassured: Direct Causal Link Between Paracetamol And Asthma Incidence Queried

The New Zealand Self Medication Industry (NZSMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, says it is aware of recent media reports of new research (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) suggesting a possible link between frequent paracetamol use in children and asthma.

“Paracetamol has a very long history of safe use in children,” says Tim Roper, executive director of the NZSMI.

“Although we have not yet seen the research, we note that Medsafe has already said that the latest research findings do not constitute a reason to stop using paracetamol in childhood.

“We need to consider the detail of research that is referred to and evaluate the specific outcomes and the strong claims being made. Often the link between the drug being taken and the condition cannot be directly related, that is, it is not causal.

“Our evidence shows that the benefit of paracetamol taken appropriately in the correct dosage far outweighs any risks of increasing the possibility of asthma later in the child’s life.”

Mr Roper says, however, that parents and caregivers need to ensure that overuse is not a factor, especially in very young children, and he advises them to talk to a GP or pharmacist if no improvement is seen within 24 hours.

He adds paracetamol has been available for more than 50 years in New Zealand and the vast majority of children using it as directed experience no undesirable effects. 

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