Published online Sep 26, 2011. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v1.i1.15
Revised: September 8, 2011
Accepted: September 19, 2011
Published online: September 26, 2011
A recently published systematic review and meta-analysis, incorporating all relevant studies on the association of acid suppressive medications and pneumonia identified up to August 2009, revealed that for every 200 patients, treated with acid suppressive medication, one will develop pneumonia. They showed the overall risk of pneumonia was higher among people using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.11-1.46, I2 = 90.5%] and Histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) (adjusted OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.09-1.36, I2 = 0.0%). In the randomized controlled trials, use of H2RAs was associated with an elevated risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia (relative risk 1.22, 95% CI: 1.01-1.48, I2 = 30.6%). Another meta-analysis of 11 studies published between 1997 and 2011 found that PPIs, which reduce stomach acid production, were associated with increased risk of fracture. The pooled OR for fracture was 1.29 (95% CI: 1.18-1.41) with use of PPIs and 1.10 (95% CI: 0.99-1.23) with use of H2RAs, when compared with non-use of the respective medications. Long-term use of PPIs increased the risk of any fracture (adjusted OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.15-1.48) and of hip fracture risk (adjusted OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.09-1.66), whereas long-term H2RA use was not significantly associated with fracture risk. Clinicians should carefully consider when deciding to prescribe acid-suppressive drugs, especially for patients who are already at risk for pneumonia and fracture. Since it is unnecessary to achieve an achlorhydric state in order to resolve symptoms, we recommend using the only minimum effective dose of drug required to achieve the desired therapeutic goals.