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Calpol and asthma link - is anyone else worrying?!

(17 Posts)
malloo Sat 20-Sep-08 21:47:23

This story was in the news yesterday (see seems to suggest that we really shouldn't be giving babies Calpol as it significantly increases their risk of getting asthma. I gave it to my DS for colds and fevers when he was little and doctors/ HVs seemed to think it was perfectly OK to spoon it into them for anything but now I'm worried. DS is 4 now and no signs of asthma -does anyone know if he would have it by now? I'm pregnant now and wondering if I should give it a wide berth for the new baby. Does anyone know anything more about the study - is it being reported inaccurately or should we be taking it seriously?

Nat1H Sat 20-Sep-08 21:50:51

I wouldn't worry at all. I gave my DS calpol when he was little and he is 8 now - with NO signs of asthma

expatinscotland Sat 20-Sep-08 21:51:00


it's more scare-mongering. like this country needs any more excuses to undermedicate people in pain and leave them to suffer.

what a load of rubbish!

and maybe it's from all the utter shite they put in Calpol and even generic brand paracetamol - full of E numbers and chemicals and aspartame and the like.

and they even admit there could be plenty of other factors.

Ewe Sat 20-Sep-08 21:53:01

Tbh I think the "suggestion" is more likely to be due to the fact that children with asthma (diagnosed or undiagnosed) are more susceptible to colds, flu, coughs etc so they tend to have more Calpol as a baby/toddler as a consequence of this.

I wouldn't worry too much.

mabanana Sat 20-Sep-08 21:53:49

I think a 46per cent increase in the number of children suffering from a potentially very debilitating condition is certainly worth investigating and taking seriously. Why on earth would you simply dismiss this finding?

avenanap Sat 20-Sep-08 21:54:31

Don't avoid it. If your child is ill or in pain then they need paracetamol. The study has said there is possibly a link with regular use, as in frequently over a long period. You should only give children medication when they need it, avoiding it will not be in their best interest. Asthma is one of those things, no one really know's the cause. I have never smoked, I avoid smokey places but ds has asthma. I don't think it's because of the calpol as he only ever had it when he was ill and needed it, which was rarely.

Studies like this are always repeated and you may find that they find something new or this is wrong. I wouldn't want to leave a child with a fever on the basis of this. It does say prolonged use, not a few times a day for a few days because your child is ill.

avenanap Sat 20-Sep-08 21:56:15

You may find the increase in asthma rates among children are also because of the increase in air pollution rates in the UK. A child sitting in a buggy is at the perfect height to breath in car fumes. wink

expatinscotland Sat 20-Sep-08 21:56:26

Because it one study and paracetamol has been used in children for decades with no obvious ill effect.

Seriously, I'm more concerned with the fact that nowadays it's hard to find paediatric paracetamol that isn't loaded with a bunch of crap chemicals.

pinkteddy Sat 20-Sep-08 21:56:43

Agree with Ewe - just because there is a link (if there is one) doesn't mean its the cause. Please make sure you do give liquid paracetamol if your baby has a temperature, this is dangerous scaremongering IMO. Having said that babies/children don't necessarily need it just for a cold or teething - only if they have a temperature.

castille Sat 20-Sep-08 22:00:07

I know us Brits are v squeamish about this, but the French have long used paracetamol suppositories for babies and children, which are a good if you object to all the cr*p in Calpol and the like.

Can you even get them in the UK I wonder?

Blu Sat 20-Sep-08 22:03:31

DS has been on 4 doses of generic Calpol a day since early June. I hate the sweeteners in it, but not onne of the consultants involved in his care have demurred about the non-stop paracetamol regime.

angelene Sat 20-Sep-08 22:05:30

I am crapping myself about it tbh, they say that using it once a month is counted as 'heavy usage' - when DD was teething she had it pretty much every night for months on end. I did ask the HV about it and she said that as long as it wasn't more than every 4 hours it was OK.

DD has eczema and I have asthma and hay fever so her risk of getting it is high anyway, I just hope she gets the mild form of it that I have because I suppose it's pretty inevitable sad

misdee Sat 20-Sep-08 22:08:43

two out three of my dd's have asthma. one bad, one mild.

the one who has it badly hasnt had as much paracetamol as the one who has it mild. dd1 has it bad. she also suffers from eczema, hayfever and other allergies.

avenanap Sat 20-Sep-08 22:09:56

I wouldn't worry. They will change their minds in a few months anyway. It's better to give them medicine then leave them in pain though.
Heave usage isn't once a month. Once a week is more like this.

malloo Sat 20-Sep-08 22:12:25

that's the thing, when DS started nursery (from 7 months) he got loads of bugs plus teething and I probably did give it to him once a month or more and it never crossed my mind that would be 'heavy usage'. I just feel it's so hard to know what advice to trust as the HV etc seem to think it's perfectly safe. But if you don't give Calpol and you think your baby is in pain or if they have a fever, what can you do? I know you can give ibuprofen but is that likely to be any better? will there just be another study in a couple of years linking that to something else?!

avenanap Sat 20-Sep-08 22:23:29

If we worried about all the studies we'd live a miserable existance. No chocolate, no wine, no take away, no ....... You only live once. If your little one needs it then give it to her/him.

charliedee Thu 12-Nov-09 22:58:38

somebody told me calpol is fine given to asthmatics, but calprofen is not, my son has asthma and when he has a bad attack and is admitted to hospital they give him calpol !!! so im certain it has got be be fine i did buy a bottle of calprofen but after reading the label i threw it away..

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