Researchers from McGill University in Canada showed that interruption of inhaled corticosteroid therapy in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease may lead to significant reduction in the risk of serious pneumonia. The study entitled “Discontinuation of inhaled corticosteroids in COPD and the risk reduction of pneumonia” was published this June in Chest.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a general designation that includes several progressive lung conditions like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. COPD is characterized generally by increasing breathing difficulty.
In COPD, the widespread use of inhaled corticosteroids as a form of therapy has been questioned. Recent studies on the effect of interrupting the use of inhaled corticosteroids in COPD patients revealed little or no decrease on adverse effects when compared to long-acting bronchodilators. However, is not clear if the suspension of inhaled corticosteroids contributes to the reduction of the high risk of pneumonia linked with these drugs.