WOMEN who take large
amounts of paracetamol in late pregnancy can double the risk of having
wheezing children, a study of 9,000 mothers has found.
Three-year-olds whose mothers had taken paracetamol on most days or
every day during the second half of pregnancy were twice as likely to
wheeze as children whose mothers had not taken the drug.
The authors of the study, published in the journal Thorax,
interviewed the women about their use of paracetamol and aspirin when
they were 18-20 weeks pregnant and again at 32 weeks. Six months after
giving birth, and then each year, they were asked about symptoms of
wheezing and eczema in their children.
The research found that 1 per cent of women took paracetamol every
day or most days between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. These were twice
as likely to give birth to children who wheezed at 3½ years old than
those who had not taken the drug.
There was no evidence that less frequent use or heavy use of
paracetamol before 20 weeks of pregnancy increase