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Singulair

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Updated May 06, 2014

Singulair Basics:

Singulair is a prescription allergy medication that can be used to treat perennial allergic rhinitis or indoor allergies in children as young as six months old and seasonal allergic rhintitis or outdoor allergies in children over age 2. It can help to control all of your child's allergy symptoms, including sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, and itchy nose.

What Singulair Is Used For:

Singulair is used to treat children with indoor and outdoor allergies. Unlike other allergy medications, like Clarinex and Zyrtec, Singulair is also approved to help control asthma in children.

Forms Of Singulair:

  • Singulair Oral Granules (ages 6 months to 5 years)
  • Singulair Chewable Tablets 4mg (ages 2 to 5 years)
  • Singulair Chewable Tablets 5mg (ages 6 to 14 years)
  • Singulair Tablets 10mg (ages 15 and above)

Singulair Facts:

  • Montelukast sodium, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, is the active ingredient in Singulair

  • leukotrienes are thought to cause many allergy and asthma symptoms, and so blocking them with Singulair may help control your child's symptoms

  • Singulair comes as oral granules that can be sprinkled on applesauce and as a chewable tablet, making it easy to give to young kids who can't swallow pills and won't drink a liquid allergy medicine

Other facts about Singulair:

  • Singulair can be taken just once a day
  • Children with asthma should take their Singulair in the evening, although children with allergies can take it whenever it is convenient, but preferably at about the same time each day
  • Singulair Oral Granules can be dissolved in a teaspoon of infant formula or breastmilk, mixed with a spoonful of soft baby food, like applesauce, carrots, rice, or ice cream, or put directly in your child's mouth

Singulair Side Effects:

Singulair is generally well tolerated by children. The most common side effects include stomach pain, stomach or intestinal upset, heartburn, tiredness, fever, stuffy nose, cough, flu, upper respiratory infection, dizziness, headache, and rash.

Less common side effects include agitation and aggressive behavior, allergic reactions, hives, and itching, bad or vivid dreams, increased bleeding tendency, bruising, diarrhea, drowsiness, hallucinations, hepatitis, indigestion, pancreatitis, irritability, joint pain, muscle aches and muscle cramps, nausea, palpitations, pins and needles/numbness, restlessness, seizures, swelling, trouble sleeping, and vomiting.

Also, the FDA has issued an 'early communication' about "a possible association between the use of Singulair and behavior/mood changes, suicidality (suicidal thinking and behavior) and suicide."

What You Need To Know:

Unlike most antihistamines, which are another type of medicine that are used to treat children with allergies, Singulair doesn't usually cause drowsiness or sedation, which may make it a good allergy medicine for children who have gotten sleepy with Zyrtec, Claritin, or Clarinex.

Be sure to tell your doctor right away if your child taking Singulair gets a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of his arms or legs, flu-like illness, rash, or severe pain and swelling of his sinuses.

Other important information:

  • Children should not take Singulair for the immediate relief of an asthma attack, using their rescue inhaler instead.
  • You may take Singulair either with or without food.

References:

  • Singulair Prescribing Information Sheet. March 2008.
  • Singulair Patient Product Information Sheet. November 2005.

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