Regular Acetaminophen Use Triples Asthma Risk
People who regularly use acetaminophen triple their risk for developing asthma.
A study by the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network asked 521 people with asthma and 507 without about their use of painkillers. They found that those who use paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the U.S. and sold under brand names such as Tylenol) on a regular basis triple their risk of asthma.
Researchers suggest that acetaminophen reduces levels of glutathione in the lungs, a chemical necessary to protect airways from the damage of air and smoke pollution.
“Epidemiological evidence is growing that shows a link between paracetamol and asthma,” study author Dr. Seif Shaheen told London’s Telegraph. “Since 2000, several publications have reported this association in the UK and the USA. We have also shown that asthma prevalence is higher in children and adults in countries with higher paracetamol sales.”
The use of acetaminophen only once a week increased the risk of developing asthma. Other painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen had no effect.
Return to Current Edition