Navigation Links
Asthma Meds May Be Linked to Irregular Heartbeat
Date:5/23/2012

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that young asthma patients who use drugs known as inhaled anticholinergics -- such as ipratropium [Atrovent] -- could be more likely than others to suffer from potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat.

However, the increased risk was not seen for some types of anticholinergics.

"Obviously, this finding raises concern because of the recent interest in use of anticholinergics in asthma," study author Todd Lee of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.

Still, "while we did find an increase in the risk of events associated with the use of anticholinergics, the overall number of events we found was relatively small," Lee said. "Therefore, the absolute risk of an event for an individual patient is relatively low."

Asthma patients use anticholinergic drugs when they have flare-ups to get quick relief. The medications have shown promise for use in the long term to prevent exacerbations, the release noted.

But based on research with patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, scientists wonder if the drugs could boost the risk of heart problems. In the new study, researchers studied data on more than 280,000 asthma patients aged 5 to 24. They found 7,656 new users of asthma drugs who had at least 6 months' usage and compared them to about 76,000 other patients.

The researchers found that those who used the drugs faced a risk of irregular heartbeat. The abstract of the study doesn't say how many developed the problem, but reports that the anticholinergic users had 1.56 times the risk of non-users.

The type of anticholingeric drug used made a difference. No signficant risk was seen for tiotropium (Spiriva) or with ipratropium when it was combined with other asthma drugs called short-acting beta agonists, like albuterol.

The increased risk was only seen with higher anticholinergic doses.

It's also not clear if the drugs are directly responsible for any increased risk. While the study found an association between anticholinergic use and irregular heartbeats, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Dr. Alan Baptist, an assistant professor of allergy and immunology at the University of Michigan, said the study is useful, but cautioned that the patients who took the drugs -- which are typically considered a secondary option after other drugs -- might differ from other asthma patients.

"For example, patients are sometimes given ipratropium because they complain of 'racing heart' with albuterol, the first-line therapy," Baptist said. "Therefore, perhaps those patients given anticholinergics were at an increased baseline risk for an arrhythmia even before they received the anticholinergic."

What should doctors and patients do? "Always consider the risks and benefits of medications, step down medication level when asthma control is reached, and use the lowest dose possible," he said.

The study was scheduled for release Tuesday at an American Thoracic Society conference in San Francisco. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more about asthma, check the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Alan P. Baptist, assistant professor, allergy and immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; May 22, 2012, presentation, American Thoracic Society meeting, San Francisco


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Children failing asthma therapy may have severe asthma with fungal sensitization
2. Baseline characteristics of children with mild persistent asthma predict response to ICS
3. Identifying asthma patients who tolerate lower doses of steroids remains problematic
4. Breathing Smog While Pregnant May Worsen Asthma in Offspring
5. Prenatal exposure to pollution especially dangerous for children with asthma
6. Asthma Cases Continue to Rise in U.S., Affecting Millions
7. Inhaled Steroids Lead to Big Drop in Asthma Deaths at Texas Hospital: Study
8. ICU stays for worst asthma drop 74 percent, review finds
9. Seniors Undertreated for Asthma, and Many Skip Inhalers: Study
10. Many Asthmatic Kids Harmed by Secondhand Smoke: Study
11. Secondhand smoke continues to vex children with asthma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Asthma Meds May Be Linked to Irregular Heartbeat
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... advisory organization, welcomes S.S. Nesbitt as the latest addition to its growing list ... seven other locations throughout the Southeast, from Orlando to Huntsville and in between. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... award winner and inspirational speaker Jan Fox will serve as keynote speaker at ... will provide participants with tools to more effectively communicate with their own organizational ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... The ... been awarded the prestigious Distinguished Emerald Club of the World award, as determined ... magazine, one of the most respected trade publications serving private clubs. , “We’d ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Workrite Ergonomics this week ... series of monitor mounts ever. , “Our goal was to develop a product ... install system that we have ever created.” said Darren Hulsey, Product Manager for Workrite ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A new leadership team for Mid-South Youth Camp, operated by ... the announcement Monday night, Feb. 8, prior to the evening session of the university’s ... creator of GO! Camp, has been named director. Gayle McDonald, currently the assistant director ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  Silicon Biosystems Menarini Inc., ... that help uncover the biological complexities of disease ... a developer of innovative technologies for genomics research, ... aimed at enabling translational researchers to obtain high-quality ... hundred tumor and normal cells in an optimized ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... India , February 10, 2016 ... a new market research report "Pharmaceutical Packaging Equipment Market ... Wrapping, Labeling & Serialization), by Product Type (Tablet, Powder, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, studies the global market during the ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% during ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016 On Tuesday, ... (FDA) met with its Arthritis Advisory Committee ... of Johnson & Johnson,s Remicade and most ... in the U.S. The Biologics Prescribers Collaborative ... - Alliance for Patient Access, American Association ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: