- Current or recent use of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine‐related drugs (BZRDs), commonly prescribed to treat a number of psychiatric disorders, was associated with an increased risk for pneumonia.
- The risk was highest in current users of short‐ and intermediate‐acting BZRDs.
Why this matters
- Studies of the association between BZRD use and pneumonia have yielded conflicting results.
- Systematic review and meta-analysis included 10 observational studies/12 citations that studied the association between BZRD use and pneumonia risks (pneumonia cases; n>120,000).
- Funding: None disclosed.
- BZRD use was significantly associated with increased risk for pneumonia (10 studies; OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.09‐1.44; I2, 97%; P<.001>
- Increased risk for pneumonia was noted among:
- current BZRD users (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.22‐1.6; I2, 85.2%; P<.001>
- recent BZRD users (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06‐1.8; I2, 87.7%; P<.001>
- short-acting BZRD: OR, 2.06 (95% CI, 1.35-3.13; I2, 0%, P=.937) and
- intermediate‐acting BZRD: OR, 1.32 (95% CI, 1.19‐1.46; I2, 76.4%, P <.001>
- Considerable heterogeneity.
- Most studies were retrospective.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm