The Particulars: Studies have suggested that using analgesics during pregnancy or early childhood can increase the risk of asthma-related outcomes. These studies, however, are limited because of potential confounding by indication.

Data Breakdown: Researchers investigated the associations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen intake during pregnancy and the first year of life with asthma-related outcomes before and after controlling for respiratory infections. Prenatal exposure to analgesics was associated with wheeze and asthma in most adjusted models. Although infant analgesic use was associated with asthma-related outcomes in unadjusted models, these associations were markedly lower after controlling for respiratory infections. The study team noted that information was not obtained on why analgesics were used by pregnant women.

Take Home Pearl: Respiratory infections during infancy, rather than use of analgesics to treat associated fevers, appear to underlie asthma-related outcomes.