A research study reveals that overuse of albuterol in chronic asthma patients was linked to an onset of depression.

As for depression, 32 percent of those who used albuterol too much had a higher risk for depression and a mean depression score of 16 or more.  This compared to 19 percent of those who underused albuterol and only 17 percent of those who used albuterol as expected.

What isn’t clear is whether depression leads to worsened asthma symptoms and an increase in albuterol use or whether albuterol use contributes to the development of depression. Asthma has a significant relationship with one’s mental status, and emotional states like anxiety can contribute to asthma exacerbations, leading to the need for a rescue inhaler.

It also isn’t clear whether or not albuterol over-users were more or less compliant with the chronic medications asthmatics take on a regular basis in order to avoid exacerbations of their disease process.  If this is the case, doctors need to educate patients — depressed or not — on the use of chronic asthma medications so rescue inhalers like albuterol are less necessary.

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