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Treatment of silent acid reflux does not improve asthma in children, NIH study finds
Date:1/24/2012

Adding the acid reflux drug lansoprazole to a standard inhaled steroid treatment for asthma does not improve asthma control in children who have no symptom of acid reflux, according to a new study funded in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Lansoprazole therapy slightly increased the risk of sore throats and other respiratory problems in children, however.

Results of this study, which was also sponsored by the American Lung Association (ALA), will appear Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"This important finding could help prevent giving unnecessary medication to children," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the NHLBI and a board-certified pediatrician. "Doctors have suspected that acid reflux that does not cause symptoms interferes with asthma control and should be treated. This study shows that acid reflux medication should not be given to children for possible silent reflux in hopes of improving asthma control."

Shurin added that a previous NHLBI/ALA-funded trial from 2009 found that acid reflux drugs do not improve asthma control in adults who do not have symptoms of acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid escapes to the adjoining esophagus. This condition occurs commonly in children and adults with asthma, although sometimes it can be silent and show none of the obvious symptoms such as heartburn, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. Lansoprazole suppresses the production of stomach acid.

To test whether reflux treatment improves asthma control in children, researchers at 18 ALA Asthma Clinical Research Centers across the United States studied 306 children and teenagers of various ethnicities aged 6-17 years. All study participants had inadequately controlled asthma despite taking inhaled corticosteroids. Approximately 40 percent of tested participants were identified as having acid re
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Contact: NHLBI Communications
NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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