Benzodiazepines may boost pneumonia risk, especially in older adults
Wed, 01/16/2019 – 17:05
Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that the odds for developing pneumonia were 1.25-fold greater among users of benzodiazepines and related drugs (BZRDs), including zolpidem, compared with nonusers. The investigation, reported in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, covered 10 studies and more than 120,000 pneumonia cases. The elevated risk of pneumonia applied to current BZRD users and anyone who received a prescription within 30–90 days, but not to people who had taken the drugs more than 3 months prior. The evidence also reflected a strong association in adults aged 65 years and older, who are big users of BZRDs and who also are vulnerable to pneumonia-related sickness and death. Additionally, short- and intermediate-acting BZRD formulations were linked to a markedly higher risk of pneumonia than long-acting preparations. A significantly increased risk was also observed with diazepam, lorazepam, temazepam, and zopiclose—but not with chloridazepoxide or clonazepam. The investigators, representing the Seventh Hospital of Hangzhou, China, concluded that BZRDs should be prescribed only to patients with clear indications. Moreover, “additional large-scale, well-designed studies with consideration of individual BZRD, current other drug use, and comorbid illness are needed to confirm or refute these results,” they report.
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Source: Pharmacy Today | www.pharmacist.com