PAGB response to Paracetamol and Deafness Study

Published on: 15 December 2016


Research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, has suggested that regular use (≥2 days/week) of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen may be associated with increased risk of hearing loss in older women.  The study carried out at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, between 1990 and 2012, investigated the relationship between duration of analgesic use and self-reported hearing loss among 55,850 women in the Nurses’ Health Study.

John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive comments:

“The authors of the cohort study have outlined several limitations which need to be considered as this may influence the outcome of the research. One of the main factors is that women’s hearing loss was self-reported, rather than professionally diagnosed by a healthcare professional, which may have affected the quality of the data and link between analgesic use.

“The research also lacked information on the cumulative amounts of analgesics intake and the duration of use prior to the baseline, which also may have a significant impact on the research results. Therefore, it is impossible to understand whether the paracetamol and ibuprofen was taken within guideline levels.

“We would advise anyone who is concerned about the use of analgesics to speak to their pharmacist in the first instance. Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals and can provide information and advice on over-the-counter medicines.”

“All OTC medicines in the UK are rigorously assessed for safety and efficacy before they are given a licence by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and once on the market, their safety is monitored in light of any emerging evidence.”

Notes to editors:

PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain) is the UK trade association representing manufacturers of branded over-the-counter medicines, self care medical devices and food supplements.

For further information, please contact Pegasus: Lauren Jones or Amy Simmons
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