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02nd Sep 2016

Health Experts Warn Using Calpol Frequently Can Lead To “Serious Health Issues”

Trine Jensen-Burke


Nothing weighs heavier on a parent’s heart than seeing your child being unwell, and it is our natural instinct to do anything we can to make them feel better.

The thing is, reaching for the fever medication every time our kids have a temperature, ache or sniffle is probably doing them a major disservice, and can actually impact gravely on their future long-term health according to recent research.

In fact, in light of some lengthy studies conducted around the consumption and overuse of paracetamol-based medicines, a leading pediatrician in the UK has now warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines, such as Calpol and Disprol, too often can have some pretty scary side-effect.

Alistair Sutcliffe, paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, explained to The Sunday Times that parents are indeed overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers.

“Parents are using paracetamol too permissively. They seem to fear fever as an illness, per se, which it is not. There is evidence that the excess usage of paracetamol is associated with increased rates of liver damage and asthma, but less widely known, also even kidney and heart damage.”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) weighed in too, and said parents needed to be better educated about when to give children paracetamol-based medicines, as far too many administer it to children in the wrong way or when they are not even necessary.

One problem, according to pharmacist and spokesperson for the RPS, Steve Tomlin, is that children are being given the painkiller at high doses and that one care setting (parents, creche, grandparents) are not being made aware of that has already been given, and administer medicine again too soon.

“You only need two or three days giving an extra dose or two above what is recommended, and it is not such a safe drug and can start hitting the liver,” Tomlin explains.

Another major problem according to health experts, is that medicine is being given to children at the slightest hint of a fever or discomfort, with parents seeing fever as an illness that needs treatment straight away.

Fever is a symptom, not an illness in itself, reminds UK based pediatrician Helen Sammons, who insists a mild temperature does most often need treatment. She is advising parents not to rely too much on thermometers, and should instead look for symptoms of fever such as lack of thirst and lethargy, in which case it might be appropriate to try and bring the fever down.

How quick are YOU to give your children medicine? Do you treat minor fevers with pain-and fever reducing medications? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie