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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills ... specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise ... offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has ... least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a ... centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the ... in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the ... She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as ... disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one ... an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal ... controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, ... complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug ... approval of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to ... indicates additional clinical data are needed to further evaluate ... to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ALLENTOWN , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy ... a business partnership to offer a strategic hub service ... PMD Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, ... A spirometer is a medical device used ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: