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Inhaled steroids may increase risk of lung infections

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [USA] 

patients beware! Using inhaled steroids to control and other breathing problems may increase the risk of developing (NTM)

are in the same family as tuberculosis, but comes in many different species and is widely dispersed in the environment. Although they cannot be spread from person to person, is difficult to treat and can cause serious illness, and even death.

of the study, Stephen J. Ruoss, and co-authors found that the odds of developing were 2.7 times greater in those patients who had filled three or more prescriptions for an inhaled steroid. They also found that the longer a person was on an inhaled steroid and the higher the dose, the more likely the patient was to develop an

"The rapidly growing number of has occurred during a time when inhaled steroid use has increased, and we wanted to see if there was a potential connection," said Dr. Ruoss.

"Because inhaled steroids appear to depress the immune system, they may contribute to the risk of respiratory infections, including NTM infections," the authors wrote.

"Inhaled steroids are standard therapy for those with because the benefits have proven in studies and clinical practice to outweigh the risks," said Dr. Ruoss.

As with asthma patients prescribed an inhaled steroid, Dr. Ruoss recommends that physicians "concretely and objectively" assess whether their patients are benefitting from the drug and if so, work to prescribe the lowest effective dose if the patient cannot eventually be taken off the drug entirely.

The full findings are present in the Journal- Annals of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 16 2018. 12:15 IST