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MEDS AND COPD

ANCHOR LEAD:   INHALED STEROIDS HAVE A DOWNSIDE IN EMPHYSEMA MANAGEMENT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Emphysema, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, is often managed with inhaled steroid medications.  But now a study from Johns Hopkins has shown that these medications can have a very serious side effect.  Brad Drummond, the study’s lead author, explains.

DRUMMOND:  The most important finding of our study is that the use of commonly inhaled medications, specifically inhaled steroids may be associated with an increased risk of pneumonia.  The increased risk of pneumonia is important because individuals who have emphysema or COPD are specifically susceptible to adverse events related to having pneumonia.                       :22

Pneumonia is a major cause of hospitalization and death, especially in people with COPD.  Drummond says a careful assessment of the risks and benefits of inhaled steroids needs to take place in order to decide if these medications should be used.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.


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