Can You Become Dependent on Asthma Medication?

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Allergy Partners’ Myth Busters Explore

Are you among the millions of people struggling with asthma? If so, you may be familiar with its often-debilitating symptoms, from shortness of breath to chest tightness. You may also feel your day-to-day life is affected by it – perhaps more than you'd like. Many find respite using prescription medications designed to help manage their condition, but can these drugs potentially lead to dependence? The idea that one can become dependent on asthma medication is likely the result of a few misunderstandings.

Medication Dependency & Inhalers

First, the concern about dependency on medication is not unique to asthma patients, as it is a true concern for people taking a range of medications. Given the vast differences in properties and mechanisms of action between medicines, they cannot be generalized as such. When steroid controller inhalers are used properly, symptoms should be minimized, and the need for a rescue inhaler should be rare.

The sensation of dependency often comes when someone is not controlled and need their rescue inhaler frequently. This leads to the feeling that they are becoming dependent on their rescue inhaler. The underlying issue is that asthma control can change due to a variety of factors and their increased rescue inhaler use is the result of that, which needs to be addressed by a physician.

Prolonged overuse of rescue inhalers influences the site where it acts in our bodies, leading to a tolerance for this medicine. But contrary to what some may believe, there is no evidence that suggests one can become dependent on their asthma medication; rather, this myth rises from an urge by those suffering from asthma to dissociate themselves from the illness and not accept that it's chronic.

Asthma Myth: Busted!

Despite the common perception that someone can become dependent on their asthma medication, this is simply not true. Asthma medications are designed to be used as prescribed, and research has shown no lasting health effects from long-term use. These medications help people with asthma maintain their quality of life by helping to control their symptoms and prevent long-term damage to their lung function. With careful management and monitoring, an allergist can help you keep your asthma under control without overusing or becoming dependent on these treatments.

Allergy Partners Can Assist with Your Asthma Struggles

Allergy Partners is the nation’s leading provider of allergy and asthma care, and we have offices across the United States. Each of our local teams has the backing of our expansive network of board-certified physicians, and together they work to deliver the most effective treatments.

To learn more about asthma treatments and how we can help you manage your symptoms, reach out to your local Allergy Partners office to schedule an appointment.