Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP), or as many people recognize it, Tylenol®, is the recommended analgesics for pregnant women and for infants. However, recent studies have shown that prenatal and infant exposure to APAP could include a higher risk for that child developing asthma. As the second most chronic child-hood disease, it is important to study what may be causing asthma and how we can prevent it. Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, 53,169 children were included in the analysis. The study found modest associations between asthma at 3 years old with prenatal APAP exposure and the use of APAP during infancy. However, maternal and paternal usage of APAP outside of pregnancy did not show any association with asthma development. Because APAP is the most suggested pain reliever in pregnant women and infants, it is important to uncover potential adverse effects of its wide usage. I feel that this study has made the first steps in researching the effects of a commonly used drug that is widely accepted as safe. Do you think we should continue to spend money and time researching drugs that have been determined safe and used so prevalently over the past 60+ years, or focus our time and attention on new and up-coming drugs?
Magnus, Mc., Karlstad, O., Haber, SE., et al. Prenatal and infant paracetamol exposure and development of asthma: the norwegian mother and child cohort study. Int. J. Epidemiol. Published ahead of print: February 9, 2016.