Source: Xinhua

04-10-2009 09:58

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Heartburn medication for treating asthma is "ineffective" and doesn't improve any asthma symptoms like sneezing, coughing and breathlessness, says a study.

Asthma patients using powerful acid reflux drugs even though they don't have heartburn should stop taking them, lung experts said.
Asthma patients using powerful acid reflux drugs even though
they don't have heartburn should stop taking them, lung experts
said.(File photo)

Asthma patients using powerful acid reflux drugs even though they don't have heartburn should stop taking them, lung experts said.

For nearly two decades, doctors have prescribed heartburn medication to patients with severe asthma symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and breathlessness, believing the symptoms were caused in part by acid reflux. Some 2.5 million to 5 million Americans with asthma have gastroesophageal reflux, according to estimates.

In the study conducted by the American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Research Centers at 20 sites across the United States, a randomized controlled trial was performed where participants received either the drug esomeprazole or a placebo and were monitored to see if there were improvements in asthma symptoms.

No differences in the number of episodes of poor asthma control, lung function tests, or other symptoms such as nighttime awakenings or quality of life were noted, said the study published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Study leader Dr. Robert Wise, a lung specialist at Johns Hopkins University, said it gives the first solid evidence that "silent" acid reflux doesn't have a role in poor asthma control.

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Editor:Yang Jie