Pharmacists can help prevent lipoid pneumonia: Two case reports

Ann E. Cabri, Afoma King, Lee Morrow, Mark A. Malesker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives To report 2 cases of lipoid pneumonia. Summary Lipoid pneumonia is an inflammatory process in the lower airways due to the presence of lipid molecules in the alveoli. Exogenous lipoid pneumonia is due to the inhalation or aspiration of fat-containing substances. Historically, mineral oil is the most common medication cause but there have also been several reports of lipoid pneumonia associated with petroleum jelly, medicated vapor rub, and lip glosses. Two case reports are presented to illustrate the importance of identifying risk factors for lipoid pneumonia. Results Use of the Naranjo algorithm suggested that both cases of lipoid pneumonia were “possibly” due to aspiration of lipid-containing over-the-counter agents. The first case was associated with aspiration of mentholated topical ointment applied intranasally, whereas the second case was attributed to probable aspiration of mineral oil for management of chronic constipation. Conclusion Pharmacists in many practice settings can play an integral role in preventing this condition and screening for patients who may warrant a diagnostic workup. During medication reconciliation, pharmacists should identify all prescription and nonprescription medications used by patients. Patients should specifically be asked about lipid-based over-the-counter products and cosmetic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-618
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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