Safety Information

Revised: 26 June 2013

Paracetamol Associated with Asthma Symptoms

September 2008

Fax sent to healthcare professionals

The Lancet (20 September) has published results from a study: Association between paracetamol use in infancy and childhood, and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children aged 6 – 7 years: analysis from Phase Three of the ISAAC programme (Prof R Beasley et al).

In response to this study, the New Zealand media have reported that paracetamol may cause asthma. This information presented to the public may cause concern for parents and carers.

The article is based on retrospective questionnaires relating to whether parents of 6 -7 year old children used paracetamol for the treatment of fever within the last 12 months and during the first year of their child's life.

The following findings are reported:

The study was not designed to prove a causal association and has not done so.

The Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee (MARC) has reviewed the study and makes the following preliminary recommendations:

Susan Martindale
Acting Group Manager