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Millions With Asthma Don’t Need PPIs

Acid Reflux Treatment Has Little Impact, Study Says

Children May Still Benefit

It is not clear how many patients fall into that category, but Mastronarde and Wise say that many millions of adults with asthma in the U.S. may be taking acid reflux drugs for no good reason.

PPIs are also commonly prescribed to children with poorly controlled asthma. A similarly designed, NHLBI-funded trial is now under way to determine if treating silent GERD in children improves their asthma symptoms.

“Kids are not small adults, and it may very well be that treatment (with a PPI) is beneficial,” Mastronarde says.

Wise points out that because a child’s esophagus is shorter than an adult’s, it is easier for stomach fluids to back up into the throat and reach the lungs.

For this reason, children may benefit from acid reflux drugs even though adults do not.

“We don’t want children who might be on this treatment to stop it without reason,” Wise says.

In addition to the NHLBI, the American Lung Association provided funding support for the study.


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