Antidepressant Tx May Also Improve Asthma Symptoms in Comorbid Patients

A total of 139 asthma and MDD patients were who randomized to receive 10mg of escitalopram daily or placebo
A total of 139 asthma and MDD patients were who randomized to receive 10mg of escitalopram daily or placebo

For patients with both severe asthma and depression symptomatology, antidepressant therapy is an effective option and yields a positive symptom response, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

This double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, involved 139 patients with asthma and major depressive disorder (MDD) were who randomized to receive 10mg of escitalopram daily or placebo. The study was carried out over a 12-week period and was conducted at a single site.

To assess the impact of antidepressant therapy on patients, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self Report (IDS-SR), Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ), and the use of oral corticosteroids were analyzed. The study authors explained, “Randomization was stratified by oral corticosteroid use (≥3 bursts in past 12 months, yes or no) and baseline depressive symptom severity (HRSD score ≥20) (higher severity, n=42) versus less than 3 bursts, HRSD score <20, or both (lower severity, n=97).” 

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The authors reported that ACQ scores (P=0.04) and oral corticosteroid use (P=0.04) were significantly reduced in high severity completers (n=21) receiving escitalopram. Additionally, although no significant differences were observed in the combined sample, patients receiving escitalopram tended to have a larger reduction in their IDS-SR score (P=0.07). No significant differences in side effects between treatment groups were observed.

“The findings suggest that patients with more severe asthma and depression symptomatology may have a positive response, in terms of both asthma and depressive symptom reduction, to antidepressant treatment,” the authors concluded.

Reference:

Sherwood B.E. et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of escitalopram in patients with asthma and major depressive disorder. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2018.