Asthma can be a debilitating illness that makes one gasp for breath. A chronic form of bronchitis, asthma makes breathing tough and laborious. Even mild asthma causes wheezing and shortness of breath, forcing the patient to find rescue in an inhaler. Without inhalers, asthmatics struggle to breathe and almost end up battling for life. There are several drugs in the market for treatment of asthma. Singulair is one such prescription medication that is used to alleviate symptoms of asthma. Though not a cure, Singulair works well by reducing the symptoms and giving the patient time to catch his or her breath.
Singular in asthma and allergy treatment: Singulair has been prevalent in the market since 1998. The U.S. Food and Drug administration initially approved it for treatment of asthma and seasonal allergies and later extended its use in treatment of hay fever symptoms too. Also called by its Montelukast, Singulair works by controlling allergy symptoms and regulating (normalizing) as asthmatic’s breathing problems.
How does Singulair work? Singulair is a leukotriene inhibitor. It inhibits the action of chemicals called leukotrienes in the lungs. It works like this: When one inhales an allergen, leukotrienes are released in the lungs. These chemicals cause swelling and tightening of muscles in the lungs, resulting in asthma or difficulty in breathing. By stopping the action of leukotrienes, Singulair treats asthma symptoms. Since the same chemicals cause actions like stuffy nose or congestion in the lungs and nostrils, the drug gives relief from such seasonal allergy symptoms too. Singulair is used for treatment of asthma even in children below 12 months of age. The drug is also used in exercise-induced bronchitis or what is called bronchoconstriction.
Singulair and suicide: Singulair has been used effectively in treatment of all kinds of asthma symptoms and allergies for a long time till CBS released a heart-wrenching feature about a mother who lost her son after Singulair use. The mother, Kate Millet, reported to the media saying that her 15 year old son committed suicide on account of taking Singulair. Reports stated that the otherwise-healthy and mentally strong adolescent had been spurred to act like this due the suicidal tendencies raised by this drug. This whole incident has been a shock to many Singulair users and from then on there is a general suspicion about the drug’s ability to invoke mood changes, depression and suicidal thoughts. Several cases are reported to the FDA on this and the drug is now under FDA safety review for depression and such related tendencies. Apart from behavioral risk factors, Singulair poses other side effect threats.
Singulair side effects: Singulair side effects are mild and not very critical (but for the suspicion about the drug’s potential to develop suicidal tendencies). Skin rashes, bruising, mood or behavioral changes, tremors, shaking, worsening of asthma, headache, pain in the stomach, heartburns, toothache, fever, stuffy nose, cough, hoarseness and mild rash are possible side effects. Singulair causes drug interactions with phenobarbital and rifampin, so you need to avoid taking Singulair when you are on these drugs.
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