Review: COPD, inhaled corticosteroids, and pneumonia
What exactly is the link between inhaled corticosteroid use and pneumonia, in patients with COPD?
Inhaled corticosteroids are widely used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and, in combination with long-acting β2 agonists, reduce exacerbations and improve lung function and quality of life. However, inhaled corticosteroids have been linked with an increased risk of pneumonia in individuals with COPD, but the magnitude of this risk, the effects of different preparations and doses, and the mechanisms of this effect remain unclear. Therefore, making informed clinical decisions—balancing the beneficial and adverse effects of inhaled corticosteroids in individuals with COPD—is difficult. Understanding of the mechanisms of increased pneumonia risk with inhaled corticosteroids is urgently needed to clarify their role in the management of COPD and to aid the development of new, safer therapies.
Finney L, Berry M, Singanayagam A, et al. Inhaled corticosteroids and pneumonia in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Lancet Respir Med. 2014;2:919-32.
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