June 1, 2009
Common Drugs Boost Pneumonia Risk at Hospitals
Hospitalized patients who are given acid-suppressive medications are 30 percent more likely to develop pneumonia during their hospital stay, a new study found.
Between 40 and 70 percent of hospitalized patients receive acid-suppressive medications, such as proton-pump inhibitors, which has raised concern among some researchers who say the drugs are sometimes prescribed for symptoms that are not supported by research and data.
Fifty-two percent of the patients were given acid-suppressive medications, which included any order for a proton-pump inhibitor or histamine2 receptor antagonist. Of that group, 83 percent received proton-pump inhibitors, 23 percent received histamine2 receptor antagonist and some received both.
Receiving acid-suppressive medication was associated with a 30 percent increased odds of hospital-acquired pneumonia, researchers said. They said it's believed these medications increase the risk of pneumonia by modifying upper gastrointestinal bacteria, and, as a result, respiratory bacteria.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009;301:2120-2128