Mothers may put their child at risk of asthma if they use paracetamol during pregnancy.
Researchers used data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, and compared associations between several conditions during pregnancy and asthma in the 114,500 children in the study.
They examined asthma outcomes at ages three and seven and evaluated the likelihood of the association being as a result of the three most common triggers for paracetamol use in pregnancy - pain, fever, and influenza.
‘Prenatal paracetamol used for fever, pain or influenza showed an independent association with asthma development in child.’
"Uncovering potential adverse effects is of public health importance, as paracetamol is the most commonly used painkiller among pregnant women and infants," said Maria Magnus from the University of Bristol, UK. Results showed that 5.7 percent of the children had asthma at age three, and 5.1 percent had asthma at age seven.
The research found a consistent link between children having asthma at age three and having been exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy. The findings indicated that prenatal paracetamol exposure showed an independent association with asthma development.