Acid reflux drugs don't help asthma in children

A new study has found that acid reflux medicine used to treat asthma in children isn't effective.

Physicians often prescribe the acid reflux drug lansoprazole in addition to standard inhaled steroid drugs to children who have asthma. The number of doctors who prescribe the drug has risen dramatically in the last decade.

But a study by theAmerican Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Group found that the drug doesn't improve asthma symptoms and may cause additional health problems, such as risk of upper respiratory infections.

The study appears in the January 25 issue of JAMA. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Clinical Trials served as data coordinating center for the research team.

“The data were very clear. Lansoprazole did not improve asthma symptoms in children as compared to a placebo, and there is no evidence to support prescribing these drugs to treat asthma in children,” Janet Holbrook,  corresponding author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School said in a statement. 

 An earlier separate study of adults conducted by the same research team showed similar results.

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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