Paracetamol and asthma

Karakaya G., Kalyoncu A.

EXPERT OPINION ON PHARMACOTHERAPY, vol.4, no.1, pp.13-21, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1517/eoph.
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.13-21
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is one of the over-the-counter analgesics that is used frequently for the self-management of some of the common disorders. There seems to be two types of relations between paracetamol and asthma paracetamol intolerance leading to bronchospasm in analgesic-induced asthmatics; and the relation between asthma and the amount and frequency of consumption of paracetamol. Paracetamol is generally recommended as one of the safer analgesics in both analgesic tolerant and intolerant asthmatics, without the fear of severe bronchospasm that aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can induce in these patients. However, Paracetamol is reported to cross-react with aspirin at a rate of similar to 20 - 30% in a close-dependent way. Therefore, it should not be recommended to analgesic intolerant asthmatics, without performing oral provocation tests to prove its safety. The possible association between the amount and frequency of paracetamol consumption and the prevalence and degree of asthma as suggested by some of the recent surveys, needs to be investigated further.