ANCHOR LEAD: EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE RISKS WITH INHALED STEROIDS FOR PEOPLE WITH COPD, THEY MAY BE WORTH IT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Inhaled steroid medications for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, may result in an increased risk of pneumonia, a Johns Hopkins study has shown. Brad Drummond, the study’s lead author, says risk notwithstanding, some folks really need these medications.
DRUMMOND: Our study should not compel patients to stop taking inhaled steroids if they’re on them. Patients taking inhaled steroids should have a conversation with their physician that focuses on balancing the known benefits of these medications with the increased risk of pneumonia. Inhaled steroids are clearly beneficial for some patients. Numerous studies have shown that inhaled steroids improve symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty tolerating light exercise and frequent cough, however, some patients may be at increased risk for pneumonia. :28
Drummond says people who need inhaled steroids can be vigilant about symptoms of pneumonia and seek medical attention immediately if they’re suspicious. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.