CLEVELAND - Parents may unwittingly be contributing to the worldwide increase in asthma by giving their children Tylenol.
According to one study, acetaminophen (the drug in Tylenol) could be responsible for as many as four in 10 cases of wheezing and severe asthma in teens.
While no one knows if the drug causes asthma on its own, another study shows many toddlers took acetaminophen before they developed asthma symptoms like wheezing.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The authors said these studies shouldn't cause parents to clear their medicine cabinets of Tylenol. They serve mostly to show reason for larger clinical studies.
David C. Kaelber, M.D., Ph.D., MPH of MetroHealth Medical Center in Clevelandcalled the studies "interesting" and agreed, further study is warranted.
"This isn't a message at this point to stop using Tylenol or stop using acetaminophen," he said.
He calls the relationship between Tylenol and asthma an association, not cause and effect.
Dr. Kaelber said parents should focus on controlling environmental influences like smoking and obesity.
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