As the parent of an asthmatic child, I learned very quickly about medications used in the treatment and prevention of asthma, as well as the possible side effects. I found that my biggest defense against allowing asthma to rule my child’s life was continually educating myself about asthma, treatments and medications and the latest research.
One of the first medications prescribed to my child for asthma was Singulair (with the generic equivalent being Montelukast). She takes a small chewable tablet each night before bedtime. This medication has found to be effective allergies or hay fever as well. For asthma patients, it is a long-term maintenance drug for the prevention or treatment of asthma.
According to the web site WebMD, this medication is taken at different times during the day, depending on what the patient is experiencing. For example, some patients are instructed to take Singulair before, during or after a meal. However, those prescribed Singulair to treat asthma should take the medication in the evening. The site further states that those who take Singulair to prevent asthma brought on by exercise should take the medication about two hours before exercising.
As with nearly every medication, Singulair does have the potential of producing side effects. WebMD states that while most patients taking Singulair experience no side effects, some may experience headaches, upset stomach, diarrhea, cough, unusual weakness, difficulty sleeping or mouth pain. Again, while most patients tolerate Singulair quite well, should side effects persistently occur, consult your doctor.
Even more unusual side effects include muscle/stomach cramps, irregular heartbeat, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, tingling in the hands and feet, and a dull sense of touch. These particular side effects are very rare, but your doctor should be consulted immediately should they occur. WebMD goes on to state that Singulair should be prescribed to pregnant women only when absolutely needed, and can be excreted in breast milk.
Although these seem like an overwhelming amount of side effects, it’s rare to find a medication that has none. When taken properly and under the supervision of a doctor, Singulair can help asthmatics keep their asthma under control and bring relief to allergy sufferers.
My daughter has been taking Singulair for several years and has responded quite well to the medication. While she occasionally experiences headaches that are a side effect of Singulair, they are so rare and mild that the benefits of the medication far outweigh the headaches, which subside with a dose of over-the-counter children’s pain reliever.
It is vital, as with all medications, that patients talk to their doctor about all other medications they are currently taking, and all treatments they are receiving. Also, discuss the possible side effects of Singulair, and what you can do to ease them should they occur. You and your doctor are a team and should develop a plan together to best treat your asthma and/or allergies. The more your doctor knows about other medications you’re taking and treatments you’re receiving, the better he can treat your asthma. The more you learn about medications for asthma and allergies, including Singulair, and all possible side effects and interactions, the more in control you will be with asthma and allergies.