Researchers in the United Kingdom and Norway have warned pregnant women against the danger inherent in consumption of paracetamol during pregnancy, stating that the drug greatly increases the unborn baby’s risk of having asthma.
Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found a consistent link between children who had asthma at three years of age and mothers who said they took paracetamol during pregnancy.
The study, the largest of its kind, was conducted on 114,500 children.
Results showed that 5.7 percent of the children had the disease at the age of three, while 5.1 percent had it at the age of seven.
The research found that the risk was increased if an expectant mum took paracetamol for more than one complaint.
“Uncovering potential adverse effects is of public health importance, as paracetamol is the most commonly used painkiller among pregnant women and infants,” Dr Maria Magnus, a Bristol University researcher and co-author of the study, said.
Earlier studies have established a link between paracetamol use and asthma.