In the UK, Singulair (Sing-you-lair) is an allergy medicine used to treat asthma (including asthma that coincides with seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever).
However, here’s an important warning: Before you take Singulair, read the information leaflet very carefully. That’s to say if you can understand it because, to be frank, it’s as clear as a muddy pond.
Killer drug for simple allergies
To start with, the information leaflet says: The information in this Medicine Guide for Singulair varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.
So right from the start, you know you need to get ready for a lot of ifs and buts…
Then, a bit further down the page it states: Singulair is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.
Okay… ‘some’, ‘certain’ and ‘other’ people… that’s not exactly specific, is it?
But wait, there’s also this: Over time it is possible that Singulair can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Singulair has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.
I’m confused. Who exactly shouldn’t be taking this drug?
Well, if you ask me the answer is: No one! Especially not children.
That’s because Singulair is linked to the following side effects: hyperactivity, irrational temper tantrums, depression, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behaviour and even suicide. In fact, over the 17 years Singulair has been on the market, it has been linked to reports of suicides and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, nightmares, and uncontrollable rage – in both children and adults.
According to one mother, Kate Miller, whose son committed suicide after using Singulair for just over two weeks, not enough is being done to clearly spell out the dangers of this drug. She says that the side effects are watered down so that “the patient doesn’t put two and two together.”
As always, medical authorities like the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of these side effects and is full of promises to make the drug “safer.” In fact, a recent FDA committee decided that perhaps Singulair’s label should be reviewed once more, maybe even worded in “plain language” so all these “important side effects” will be better understood by consumers. And that sending out another letter to warn doctors might be a good idea, too.
And while we wait for them to take action, doctors keep on prescribing this dangerous drug to our children, some as young as six months old! To make matters worse, some doctors are prescribing Singulair off-label for allergy symptoms like itchy, watery eyes and runny nose – in other words ordinary hay fever symptoms.
The good news is that it seems that Singulair’s terrible side effects go away once the drug is discontinued. One mother said that the transformation in her son was “astounding” once he stopped taking the drug.
The bad news is that since Singulair has lost its patent protection, it’s now available as a cheaper generic that’s being made by no fewer than 10 different drug companies.
So now you have to watch out for more than just the name Singulair, but also its generic name “montelukast sodium.”
We talk a lot about drugs that are too dangerous to take. But Singulair may be the most extreme example ever. If your doctor tries to give your child or grandchild a prescription for it, there is only one thing to do: Tear it up.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Montelukast’s underrecognized adverse drug events” March 2, 2015, Medscape, Medscape.com
“Popular asthma drug’s deadly side-effects revealed (once Merck stopped making money from it)” Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet, alternet.org
“Music can control your genes, and that’s a good thing” Julia Westbrook, March 17, 2015, Rodale News, rodalenews.com