Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

No pneumonia risk from inhaled steroids

By Christian Duffin

Researchers have challenged the findings of previous studies by arguing that the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide is in fact not linked to an increased risk of pneumonia among asthma patients.

The researchers, from Sweden, Canada and Denmark, conducted a retrospective analysis of 26 double-blind placebo-controlled asthma trials involving budesonide lasting at least three months, and 60 double-blind asthma trials without placebo control, in which patients took either budesonide or fluticasone.

In the first data set, there were 10.0 pneumonia-related adverse events per 1000 patient years in the budesonide group, compared to 19.3 in the placebo group, while for serious adverse events the figures were 2.9 and 2.1 respectively. These differences were not clinically significant, however. Similarly, there was no increased risk associated with budesonide when compared with fluticasone.

Research lead Professor Paul O'Byrne, chair of medicine at McMaster University's faculty of health science, Ontario, said: ‘Several recent studies…suggested that treatment with any inhaled corticosteroid may be associated with an increased risk of pneumonia. But results of this retrospective analysis do not support the concern.'

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011; 183: 589–595

No pneumonia risk from inhaled steroids

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say