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Pneumonia more likely among Alzheimer's patients taking opioids

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease who took opioids had a 30% higher overall risk of developing pneumonia, compared with those who didn't take opioids, with the highest risk among those who used strong opioids, such as fentanyl and oxycodone, and during the first two months of use, according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Researchers associated opioids with pneumonia risk factors, such as impaired cough reflex, inhibited respiratory function, sleepiness and fatigue.

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