Risk of pneumonia can increase dramatically with inhaled corticosteroidsA great sense of caution has been recommended by lung disease experts at John Hopkins when it comes to prescribing inhaled corticosteroid drugs to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This caution call was made after evidence was found suggesting that a widely used anti-inflammatory medication increases the risk of pneumonia by a full third.

It was remarked by the researchers that it is not clear why the corticosteroid treatment increases the risk but it is suspected that it is because corticosteroids suppress the immune system.

Pulmonologist M. Brad Drummond, M.D., M.H.S., led the study and was supported by Eddy Fan, M.D.; other researchers involved in this study, conducted solely at Hopkins, were Elliott Dasenbrook, M.D., M.H.S.; Marshall Pitz, M.D., M.H.S., now at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada; and David Murphy, M.D.