Dec 18, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

Paracetamol Might Contribute In The Worsening Of Influenza

Dec 08, 2015 12:23 AM EST

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A study by the New Zealand Research Institute concluded that paracetamol has no beneficial effect on people with flu. The severity and duration of the flu symptoms, body temperature and virus population was not alleviated by the drug and has effectively the same effect as the placebo groups.

Two hundred thousand Kiwis get afflicted with influenza each year. There are cases that proved to be fatal. This study should help the population to rethink its medication when it comes to clearing out the flu. This is one of the most unexpected results of a study since its conclusions seemed to be a world-first study and should push the pharmaceutical industry against the wall.

The researchers actually hypothesized that the medication with paracetamol makes the flu symptoms worse. The influenza virus cannot replicate itself in higher temperatures, thus bringing the afflicted person's temperature down seem counter-intuitive. Lower body temperature makes the influenza virus thrive and reproduce in a higher rate.

"Fortunately this was found not be the case. Paracetamol was neither harmful nor beneficial. We found that it did not significantly reduce temperatures compared to placebo and did not make the participants feel any better," Dr. Irene Braithwaite, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand's lead researcher, said.

Dr. Braithwaite added that it is not outright conclusive that paracetamol contributes to the propagation of the virus when ingested. However, paracetamol is neither beneficial nor harmful if taken when having a flu. The only conclusion she can draw is that flu vaccination is more important to those at-risk individuals like pregnant women, children and those with chronic medical conditions.

"This may not be foolproof, but it confers the best protection available against the influenza virus," she added. This study was published in the journal "Respirology" and is a collaboration between several institutions both academic and research.

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