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Nexium and Asthma, what people should know

Those with asthma know the symptoms can come on fast and furious.  The disorder can cause the airways of the lungs to swell, making it difficult to breathe. Some patient’s deal with asthma and acid reflux, the two seem to go together.

It’s one of the reasons why doctors prescribe an acid reflux medication to people with asthma, even if they’re not showing the symptoms.  Now, a new study shows that course of action may not be the best.

The connection between asthma and acid reflux
Many people battling asthma also battle acid reflux.  According to recent statistics, there are that 2.5 million to 5 million Americans with asthma also have gastroesophageal reflux, in which acid or food rises from the stomach into the throat, without any obvious heartburn symptoms.

The new information
A new study shows acid reflux medications, like Nexium, do not help asthma patients.

A study published in New England Journal of Medicine found that among 412 patients with poorly controlled asthma, the group given Nexium twice a day for six months fared no better in symptom control than patients getting dummy pills.

“This study demonstrates that acid reflux does not play a role in worsening asthma symptoms and control,” said Robert A. Wise, M.D., a coauthor of the paper and a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Based on these results, we also believe that doctors do not need to test for acid reflux in asthma patients unless the patient is reporting symptoms.”

What it means for patients
“Asthma patients who take medication for acid reflux but who do not have reflux symptoms should talk with their doctors about whether they should continue the medication,” Wise said.  “The study helps us rule out acid reflux as one possible contributor to poorly controlled asthma, and is therefore important news for many patients.”

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