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Paracetamol asthmatic’s preferred pain relief

5 May 2008
News Release

Research confirms Paracetamol as asthmatic’s preferred pain relief

Up to twenty per cent of adult asthmatics are sensitive to aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) – and if consumed could trigger an Aspirin Induced Asthma (AIA) attack. This comes as a timely reminder as May 6 marks World Asthma Day, just ahead of New Zealand’s Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s National Balloon Day on May 10.

As many as one in five people with asthma could have an attack triggered by pain relievers such as aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac, - whereas a paracetamol based product such as Panadol affects less than two per cent of people with asthma,.

“Many consumers are unaware of the association between some pain relievers and AIA, potentially exposing themselves to unnecessary risks. Aspirin Induced Asthma is a distinct clinical syndrome where some patients with asthma will experience an asthmatic attack after taking aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A paracetamol such as Panadol may offer a more suitable option for asthma sufferers,” said Debbie Billcliff medical marketing manager for GlaxoSmithKline.

World Asthma Day is a poignant reminder that asthma sufferers’ choice of pain relief needs careful consideration, as aspirin and other ‘over the counter’ NSAIDs can pose a significant risk to some asthmatic individuals. Paracetamol can be taken by over 98% of all asthmatics and is recommended by the Global Initiative for Asthma as a suitable analgesic for those sensitive to aspirin and NSAIDs.

Panadol is a leading paracetamol and is not an NSAID making it a popular pain reliever for people with asthma.

Panadol* contains paracetamol 500mg. Always read the label. Use strictly as directed. Medicines have benefits and some can have risks. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Incorrect use could be harmful. Use: For the relief of pain and/or fever. Precautions: Allergy to paracetamol. Liver or kidney disease. Side effects: Allergic reactions or skin rashes are rare. Medicines have benefits and some can have risks. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose. Prolonged or excessive use may be harmful. If pain persists or you have side effects see your healthcare professional.
Always consult your doctor or pharmacist if you take Panadol or other pain relievers with other regular medications. Incorrect use could be harmful. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Auckland. *Registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.

REFERENCES: 1. Jenkins C, Costello J, Hodge L. Systematic review of prevalence of aspirin induced asthma and its implications for clinical practice. BMJ 2004; 328(7437):434. 2. Morwood K, Gillis D, Smith W, Kette F. Aspirin–sensitive asthma. Intern Med J 2005: 35(4):240-246. 3. Jenkins C. recommending analgesics for people with asthma. Am J Ther 2000; 7(2):55-61. 4. Thien FC, Armstrong D, Gowan J, Rudolphy S. Asthma and Pain Relievers: An information paper for health professionals, 2005. Australia, National Asthma Council.

Editors Notes:

AIA is characterised by the onset of asthma one to three hours after the ingestion of aspirin and other NSAIDs. One factor that makes AIA difficult to diagnose is that many people will have taken aspirin in the past without any adverse effects, thus the initial reaction is usually unexpected and quite often is not attributed to the use of an analgesic.
AIA is a common, although often under-diagnosed disease and tends to affect women more often than it does men, and usually appears around the age of 30 although it can occur earlier.

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