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Acetaminophen May Increase Risk of Asthma

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered one of the safest drugs in the pharmacy. But a new analysis of 19 studies suggests that this popular pain reliever may have a previously unsuspected downside. Both children and adults seem more likely to develop wheezing or asthma after exposure to acetaminophen. Pregnant women should be especially careful, since exposure in the womb increases the risk of asthma by about 30 percent. Parents may also want to consult a pediatrician before routinely giving their child acetaminophen for a fever. High doses may triple the risk of asthma. Acetaminophen remains a useful drug in treating childhood fever and pain, but it should not be taken for granted.
[Chest, Nov. 2009]

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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