Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Anti-reflux medicines safe for infants

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

No increased risk of lung infections among infants using popular anti-reflux medicines

New University of Otago research shows infants using popular anti-reflux medicines like omeprazole are not at increased risk of pneumonia or other lower respiratory tract infections, contrary to findings from other international studies.

Lead researcher, Mei-Ling Blank from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine says use of the drugs – proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – by otherwise healthy infants is controversial as studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate the drugs relieve the symptoms of presumed acid reflux in infants.

“Several large overseas studies have observed an association between the use of PPIs and pneumonia in adults, while two small studies conducted overseas suggested that infants using PPIs may also be at risk of lung infections,” Ms Blank says.

PPIs are commonly prescribed to infants for symptoms attributed to acid reflux or heartburn, with an earlier study by the Otago researchers finding New Zealand has among the highest rates of PPI use by infants internationally.

“Given the high rates of PPI use that one of our earlier studies found, it was important to investigate if infants in New Zealand who were using PPIs were at increased risk of serious lung infections,” Ms Blank says.

Co-author of the study, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dr Lianne Parkin, says the Otago study was the largest of its kind internationally and was able to address some of the methodological limitations of previous studies.

“Not only did we find a relatively low number of serious lung infections among the children in the cohort, but healthy infants who were currently using PPIs were at no greater risk of a lung infection than healthy infants who had stopped taking PPIs,” Dr Parkin says.

The study examined the health records of more than 21,000 New Zealand infants born between January 2005 and December 2012 who were dispensed omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole at least once before their first birthday. The study was published today in the international Journal of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Other researchers involved in the Otago study are Dr Jiaxu Zeng and Dave Barson from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. Funding for the study came from the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre, Medsafe and a Strategic Research Grant from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

EU Wine Exports: Peter Yealands Fined For "Unprecedented Offending"

Yealands Estate Wines has pleaded guilty to “unprecedented offending” under the Wine Act 2003 and has copped a $400,000 fine. More>>

ALSO:

Discussion Paper: Govt To Act On Unfair Commercial Practices

“I’ve heard about traders who have used aggressive tactics to sell products to vulnerable consumers, and businesses that were powerless to stop suppliers varying the terms of their contract, including price.” More>>

ALSO:

'Considering Options' On Tip Top Ownership: Fonterra Drops Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised its 2018/19 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range from $6.25-$6.50 per kgMS to $6.00-$6.30 per kgMS and shared an update on its first quarter business performance. More>>

ALSO:

Science: Legendary Telescope Being Brought Back To Life

One of the world’s most famous Victorian telescopes will be restored and available for public viewing in Takapō after spending five decades in storage... The Brashear Telescope was used in the late 1800s by Percival Lowell for his studies of Mars. More>>