Reported in the Vancouver Sun today, researchers in BC have reviewed 19 studies involving 425,000 people, and have found that the risk of asthma increased by 60% in those children given acetaminophen (Tylenol®) in the year prior.
The risk of asthma in adults who used acetaminophen was 75% higher than those who did not. This study was initiated because the incidence of asthma has increased steadily over the past 20 years, which corresponds with a change in practice when doctors began to recommend acetaminophen for children instead of aspirin (due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome). A fever is the body’s innate and intelligent way to fight an infection; a fever should not be suppressed. Treating a fever with Tylenol®, aspirin or ibuprofen does not allow the body to naturally fight the virus and may prolong the duration of an illness; and as this study shows could increase the risk of developing asthma. However, if the person is severely uncomfortable, or if the fever starts to climb above 103, then Tylenol®, aspirin or ibuprofen should be considered at a safe dose. Most people are not aware of the toxicity of Tylenol®. Every year it is responsible for more than 100,000 calls to poison control, nearly 56,000 emergency room visits, over 26,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths due to liver failure.