Inhaled steroids up pneumonia risk

GPs are being urged to "be selective" about which COPD patients they prescribe inhaled corticosteroids, in the wake of a large study linking the drugs to serious pneumonia.

The Canadian study of over 163,000 COPD patients found those using any inhaled steroid were 69% more likely to be hospitalised or die from pneumonia over five years' follow-up, compared with those not taking steroids.

The risk of pneumonia was greater with fluticasone than budesonide, likely due to its greater