Early exposure to acetaminophen and allergic disorders

Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jun;11(3):162-73. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283464c28.


Purpose of review: To summarize the data related to the association between acetaminophen and allergic diseases, and to try to establish a conclusion regarding the extent to which the association is unbiased and what its strength might be.

Recent findings: Several studies have shown an association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and allergic diseases in the offspring. Furthermore, this association has also been found between early exposure and recent exposure to the drug and several allergic conditions. However, other studies did not confirm those associations. Taken together, the available data suggest an unbiased but weak association between acetaminophen consumption and asthma/wheezing. Additional studies are needed to definitely confirm the association with rhinitis, eczema and sensitization.

Summary: Although the use of acetaminophen is weakly associated with asthma/wheezing, the widespread use of the drug might have important public health implications. Thus, controlled studies to definitely establish not only causality but also the magnitude in which acetaminophen might increase allergic disorders are needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / adverse effects*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / immunology
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Sounds


  • Acetaminophen