Long-term use of popular inhalers ups pneumonia risk for COPD patientsFebruary 10th, 2009 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): A popular class of anti-inflammatory inhalers, if used for a long time, could significantly increases the risk of pneumonia in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), according to a new study.
COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe and is characterised by coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms.
The research by Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientists mainly deals with the incidence of pneumonia in COPD patients, who were exposed to inhaled corticosteroid drugs, either alone or in combination with other drugs.
While inhaled corticosteroids, used alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of asthma, have not been approved for use in patients with COPD, it has been suggested in combination with beta-antagonists, which dilate the lungs.
The available inhaled steroid combinations are fluticasone/salmeterol, marketed byGlaxoSmithKline as AdvairTM, and budesonide/formoterol, marketed by AstraZeneca as SymbicortTM.
Although, the inhalers can successfully relieve many of the symptoms of COPD, they have been linked with an increased risk of pneumonia in recent studies.
In the current study, researchers reviewed 18 randomized clinical trials, several of which were unpublished, involving nearly 17,000 patients in total.
They compared the incidence of pneumonia in patients who had taken inhaled corticosteroids for at least 24 weeks versus patients who had taken a placebo, or patients who had taken combination inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-antagonists versus patients who took only the long-acting bronchodilator.
After the analysis it was found that inhaled corticosteroid use, alone or in combination with bronchodilators, for at least 24 weeks was associated with a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and serious pneumonia (60 to 70 percent increase).
However, it was not associated with an increased risk of death.
Thus, one can say that one in every 47 patients with COPD using a corticosteroid inhaler for one year is likely to develop pneumonia linked to use of the drug.
“Our robust meta-analysis clarifies that the risk of pneumonia reported as a serious adverse event, can be specifically attributed to the long-term use of the inhaled steroid component,” the researchers wrote in their report.
Researchers advised that these results pertain specifically to COPD patients rather than asthma patients, and recommend that “clinicians should remain vigilant for the development of pneumonia with inhaled corticosteroids, as the signs and symptoms of pneumonia may closely mimic that of COPD exacerbations.”
The study appears in this month’’s issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. (ANI)
- Now, alternate therapy for adults with poorly controlled asthma - Sep 20, 2010
- Use of popular inhalers increases pneumonia risk - Feb 11, 2009
- Inhaled steroids up diabetes risk: Study - Nov 02, 2010
- Mild asthma might not need to be treated every day: Study - Feb 15, 2011
- Inhaled corticosteroids may increase diabetes risk - Dec 15, 2010
- Inhaled corticosteroid therapy helps reduce pneumonia mortality - Apr 16, 2011
- Asthmatics on steroids face higher prostate cancer risk - Aug 09, 2010
- Estrogen may reduce airway constriction in asthmatic women - May 17, 2010
- New therapeutic target for asthma, other lung disorders identified - Apr 18, 2011
- Health Warning issued for certain Asthma Drugs - Feb 20, 2010
- Low vitamin D levels linked to lower lung function in asthmatic kids - Apr 16, 2010
- Asthmic kids on steroids grow slightly shorter - Sep 04, 2012
- Asthma inhalers 'up prostate cancer risk' - Aug 09, 2010
- Being obese doesn't worsen asthma - Jun 04, 2009
- Combo inhaler may simplify asthma treatment - Apr 15, 2009
Tags: antagonists, bronchodilator, bronchodilators, budesonide, chest tightness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, copd patients, corticosteroid drugs, formoterol, incidence of pneumonia, inhaled corticosteroids, obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, progressive disease, randomized clinical trials, study researchers, treatment of asthma, wake forest university, wake forest university school, wake forest university school of medicine