Regular Use of Paracetamol increases Asthma - EDU

Regular Use of Paracetamol increases Asthma

Some asthmatics choose paracetamol because they have a sensitivity to aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Nurofen. People who regularly use paracetamol are nearly three times more likely to have asthma.

The study, which has been published in the European Respiratory Journal, found that the risk of suffering asthma symptoms are nearly three times more likely for those using paracetamol at least once a week.
However, other painkillers did not have the same effect, according to the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, which carried out the research.

During the study, researchers questioned over 500 adults with asthma and over 500 people without asthma about the use of painkillers. The researchers conclude that there is a positive association between the frequent use of paracetamol and adult asthma. These findings support those of other studies in the UK and the US.

The link between asthma and paracetamol may be due to the action of the drug as it reduces levels of 'glutathione' in the lungs and this is needed to defend the delicate airways against damage from pollution and smoke.

Since 2000, several publications have reported this association for instance in the UK and the USA. Asthma prevalence is higher in children and adults in countries with higher paracetamol sales.

The researchers believe regular use of paracetamol decreases levels of the antioxidant glutathione, found in the airways and the nose, which protects the lungs from air pollution and tobacco smoke and the harmful effects of free radicals.

"Considering asthma is a common disease and paracetamol use is frequent, it is now important to find out whether this association is really a causal one," Dr Shaheen said.

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