Possible acid reflux drug link to pneumonia

May 27, 2009 A new study has found that patients who take these drugs are at higher risk of pneumonia than those who do not.

The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors, include Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. They're often recommended for intensive care patients to prevent stress ulcers, and in recent years they have been given to many other hospital patients, because they are widely perceived to be safe.

Doctors theorize that the drugs might promote the growth of different types of bacteria that could result in pneumonia. Another reason could be that acid stimulates coughing which may promote pneumonia.

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