Common drugs linked to millions of lung disease issues

Some prescription drugs can pose a threat to lung health, according to new research.

Common drugs linked to lung woes

Common drugs that doctors prescribe to treat heart problems, arthritis and cancer can actually pose a threat to lung health, according to new research.

A systematic review of research has revealed that drugs regularly taken to treat a range of common conditions can cause more toxic effects on the lungs than previously thought.

Although the 27 drugs that treat a range of conditions, including arthritis, cancer and heart problems are successful for most patients, the research suggests doctors need to be more aware of the potential risks to their respiratory systems.

The University of Manchester study looked at data from 6200 patients across 156 papers published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Despite the fact that drug-induced interstitial lung disease (DIILD) can cause difficulty breathing, inflammation and fibrosis, the risk sometimes only becomes apparent after the drugs have been in use for some years.

The review also found that DIILD accounted for around three to five per cent of all interstitial lung disease cases.

In some of the studies, mortality rates of over 50 per cent were reported and, overall, 25 per cent of all the patients studied died as a result of respiratory symptoms.

The University of Manchester’s Professor John Waterton said the side effects of drugs on the lung are much more widespread than previously thought.

“We do know it affects a considerable number of people, which is why we want to develop better imaging tests to pick up any lung problems before they become serious,” Prof Waterton said.

“It’s important to stress that patients can safely continue to take their medication – but it’s also important that doctors monitor and assess them closely for side effects in the lung.”

The common drugs with DIILD liability in the review are: Bleomycin, Gemcitabine, Erlotinib, Gefitinib, Panitumumab, Cetuximab, Everolimus, Temsirolimus, Sirolimus, Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, Atezolizumab, Avelumab, Durvalumab, Irinotecan, Pemetrexed, Methotrexate, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Leflunomide, Amiodarone, Nitrofurantoin, Distamycin and Carbamazepine.

Do you take any of the drugs listed in the study? Will you be asking your doctor to more closely monitor for warning signs of lung disease?


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


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    31st Oct 2018
    Today's conventional doctors no longer heal, but only treat easing some of the symptoms and help Big Pharma sell their drugs for profit.
    31st Oct 2018
    A healthy patients means no profitable customer ...
    31st Oct 2018
    Fully agree HKW
    31st Oct 2018
    I'm in total agreement too. They no longer give medical advice, apart from "take the pills and come back next week if no improvement".
    31st Oct 2018
    No problems with my doctor. He treats when I am ill and makes me better.

    He won't get rich from me, I see him, at best only 3 times a year - and two of those are just routine visits for checkup and blood test.

    He does not give me pills if I don't need them, and I am prepared to ask questions if I don't like or am unsure about what he says.

    If you are not happy with the treatment you get from your doctor, FIND ANOTHER ONE. How hard is it to think for yourself and fix the problem. That's probably the worst disease you have - and no pill cures stupidity.
    31st Oct 2018
    Sssshhhhhh! Don't rock the boat, we wouldn't want those multinational pharmaceutical giant to lose money!
    31st Oct 2018
    my breathing issues have been listed as asthma but I dont know about that but I cant get anyone to listen
    31st Oct 2018
    Know the feeling - been running day and night most of my life, and now have serious breathing issues - treated with asthma drugs. Not altogether sure about any of this... still waiting on a firm diagnosis.... nobody left now but an ENT guy and a lung man/lady.
    31st Oct 2018
    Tisme, ask to be referred to a respiratory specialist, or go to another doctor for a second opinion. I wonder if the constant cough I have is anything to do with all the medications I have had to take over the years, though none seem to be on this list. It's strange, as I get older I have less faith in doctors, or at least I'm quite prepared to question them, If I have doubts about something, never used to be like that.
    31st Oct 2018
    Could be, vinradio - some heart medications have a persistent cough as side effect.

    31st Oct 2018
    Treat the patient - call me if he dies....
    Fluffy Duck
    31st Oct 2018
    Nivolumab, on this list, is used to treat lung cancer. Same for gemcitabine, which is a chemotherapy drug. And they cause lung disease...??
    31st Oct 2018
    No-one forces you to take any medicine. Only YOU can make that decision. The doctor can advise, but at the end of the day, it is up to YOU.

    If you don't want to support big pharma, then don't. They are not holding a gun to your head. It's your choice to take pills or not.
    31st Oct 2018
    Most pharmaceuticals have what they call side effects, in other words they are just covering themselves when things go wrong. If you look up some of the ingredients in your drugs and see what they are you may be shocked, a lot have actually poison in them, so you are getting a small dose each time which accumulates in your organs. Easier and safer to change to a better diet and get exercise. Eat more wholefoods, lots of fruit and veg, fruit is a miracle healer.
    31st Oct 2018
    Exactly right musicveg - I have a Dr. who I can talk over these things with
    and he listens and understands - I took myself off one of those drugs
    when a friend died of lung problems due to being on the same drug - my Dr. understood. I always talk to my Dr. about any possible side affects.
    Yes we should all eat better and more fresh fruit and veg.
    I was not on the aforementioned drug long, so hope all OK!
    31st Oct 2018
    Drink LOTS of water !
    31st Oct 2018
    johninmelb - totally agree !!
    31st Oct 2018
    Slightly off topic, has anyone noticed the price of blood pressure tablets getting more expensive? Both my wife and I are on different medication for blood pressure, mine has gone up to $10:16 my wife’s has gone up to $9:50, all of our other medication is still $6:40.
    3rd Nov 2018
    Many of the above appear to be cancer drugs.....!!??
    4th Nov 2018
    DArn right Drs and BIG Pharma are all about getting you on to as many drugs as possible -- gives Drs nice holidays and dinners --- AND Drs never check on if drugs are compatible and can cause dreadful results -- make sure you check with your Chemist to see if all medication ARE compatible taken together.

    Also never be afraid to ask why and what to the Dr -- do not accept what they say as gospel!
    4th Nov 2018
    And if you have the internet search for the downsides to medications --- as there is a LOT that causes more problems than they solve
    4th Nov 2018

    My doctor always checks these things, so I never have any problems. He has also recorded the non-prescription things I take like vitamin e tablets etc, so that there are no problems with incompatibility there either.

    His computer system alerts him to anything out of the ordinary, and he also explains the pros and cons of any medicine he gives me. He has access to the same database as the pharmacists use.

    But any medicine can react with something in your diet and create unforeseen problems. Sometimes doctors have to try something to see if it will work to solve your problem. Once he/she has explained this simple fact of life to you, then it is still up to you to decide what you want to do.

    We all know that sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. Only you can make the decision as to what course of action you want to take.
    4th Nov 2018
    Good that your Drs does that johninmelb ---but not all do and I had acute kidney failure because of 2 incompatible drugs -- lucky I had just had a Blood test 3 days b4 and they picked it up -- yes I did change from that Dr. but I do not take any chances now

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