European researchers say that paracetamol and other painkillers taken during pregnancy do not increase the risk of asthma in children. A study that examined almost 500,000 women and their children saw that while women taking paracetamol during pregnancy have more chances of having children with asthma, painkillers are not the cause of the risk.

‘Our interpretation of this is that it’s less likely that drugs are responsible for asthma. It seems another factor that we have not measured is linked to use of these drugs and asthma risk,’ says the lead author Seif Shaheen, professor at the Queen Mary University of London. ‘For example, women who are taking prescribed painkillers are likely to suffer from chronic pain,’ Shaheen adds.

[When asthma-like wheezing isn't asthma]

The findings from the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, shows the risk of asthma in kids was similar when women were prescribed opioids such as codeine and tramadol or migraine medication. Chances of more risk of having asthma at five years of age increased by 50 per cent with paracetamol, 42 per cent for codeine and 48 per cent for migraine medication.