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Aspiration Pneumonia: PPIs Stop the Acid but Help Bacteria


Current use of H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) is associated with increased risk of community- acquired pneumonia, probably as a result of colonization of the upper gastrointestinal tract by oral-cavity pathogens that thrive as a result of the lack of the stomach acid that normally kills them when they are swallowed.


Laheij RJF et al. Risk of community-acquired pneumonia and use of gastric acid-suppressive drugs. JAMA. 2004;292:1955–60.

Gregor JC. Acid suppression and pneumonia: a clinical indication for rational prescribing [editorial]. JAMA. 2004;292:2012–3.