December 24, 2010

Acid Suppressive Meds Increase Pneumonia Risk

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Acid suppressive medications are the second leading medication worldwide; however using them could increase your chance of developing pneumonia, according to this study.

The researchers systematically reviewed all relevant studies on the association suppressive medications and pneumonia that could be found up to August 2009. They found that out of every 200 inpatients being treated with acid suppressive drugs, one will develop pneumonia.

"Several previous studies have shown that treatment with acid-suppressive drugs might be associated with an increased risk of respiratory tract infections and community-acquired pneumonia in adults and children. However, the association between use of acid-suppressive drugs and risk of pneumonia has been inconsistent," Dr. Chun-Sick Eom and Dr. Sang Min Park, Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea with coauthors, was quoted as saying. "Given the widespread use of proton pump inhibitors and histamine2-receptor antagonists, clarifying the potential impact of acid-suppressive therapy on the risk of pneumonia is of great importance to public health."

Since 40-70% of hospitalized patients receive these drugs it may mean that deaths from hospital-acquired pneumonia could be caused by acid suppressive medications. The impact of acid suppressive medication on community-acquired pneumonia could be much greater.

The authors conclude that physicians should use caution when prescribing acid suppressive medication, especially in patients with a high risk of developing pneumonia.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, published online December 24, 2010