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PIPPA stands for Paracetamol and Ibuprofen in Primary Prevention of Asthma in Tamariki (children).

It is a study to find out whether paracetamol treatment, compared with ibuprofen treatment, given to babies for fever and pain, increases the risk of asthma at six years of age.


Why is the study important?

Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses in New Zealand, affecting thousands of children each year. Many of these children go on to have life-long asthma and other allergic conditions.

Despite improvements in medical care, the number of children with asthma remains very high. Experts don’t know why this is happening.

What is the study trying to find out?

Most babies are given medicines for pain or fever, such as paracetamol (Pamol, Paracare) or ibuprofen (Brufen, Nurofen), at some stage in their first year. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are safe and effective at relieving pain and fever in babies, but no-one knows if their use influences the chances of developing asthma or not.

This study will find out if there are different rates of asthma at 6 years of age in children who just take paracetamol when they are unwell in their first 12 months of life, compared to children who just take ibuprofen.

The findings of PIPPA Tamariki will be relevant to all caregivers and health professionals who prescribe or give paracetamol to infants.  

Who can take part?

Babies born within the catchment area of Auckland City, Middlemore or Wellington Hospitals who are more than eight weeks old can take part in the study. They will be randomly assigned to either the ‘Paracetamol Group’ or the ‘Ibuprofen Group’.

If you are expecting a baby or have recently given birth and would like to discuss enrolling in the study please fill out this form.

What does the study involve?

For the first year of life, you’ll be asked to give your baby only the allocated medication, if required, for pain or fever. If you take part in the trial, you’ll be given the correct dosages for your baby.  

How can I find out more?

PIPPA Tamariki is recruiting at Wellington Hospital, Middlemore Hospital and Auckland City Hospital. You can find out more by contacting your nearest study team. 

Wellington Hospital
Phone: 0800 PIPPA T (0800 747 728) or 027 292 0705
Email: pippatamarikiwgtn@mrinz.ac.nz

Last updated 16 September 2020.