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Singulair

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Updated: April 02, 2008

Singulair Basics:

Singulair is a prescription asthma medication that can be used to prevent and treat chronic asthma in pediatric patients as young as twelve months old.

What Singulair Is Used For:

In addition to treating children with asthma, Singulair is also used to treat children with indoor and outdoor allergies.

Forms Of Singulair:

  • Singulair Oral Granules (ages 12 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 an oral granule 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. 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.

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:

In the latest National Asthma Education and Prevention Program clinical practice guidelines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, such as Singulair, were classified as alternative treatments for children with persistent asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids were the usual preferred treatment, adding on a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist for those with moderate or severe symptoms.

Other important information:

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

Sources:

  • Singulair Prescribing Information Sheet. March 2008.
  • Singulair Patient Product Information Sheet. November 2005.
  • National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma - Update on Selected Topics 2002.

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