Stomach Acid Drugs May Raise Pneumonia Risk
“The risk is not huge. But the drugs work so well and so safely — and are advertised so aggressively — that they’re among the most-used drugs in the U.S. . . .There seems to be one extra case of pneumonia among every 100 people who take acid-suppressing drugs for one year.”
The study is from JAMA and is found here. It is an observational, retrospective study – so this isn’t the most robust data. However, it makes a point that not all medications are as benign as they seem. Remember, simple aspirin or NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or ulcers, now acid-blockers may be associated with pneumonia. In general, the acid-blockers are a pretty safe class of medications – although now, the risks and benefits should be critically weighed, especially in the immunocompromised, or those with chronic lung disease susceptible to pneumonia.