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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Dr. now prescribing Singulair for allergies

My Internist and I had a neat little conversation about medical fallacies yesterday. He assured me that it isn't just RTs who get irritated with people getting all excited over "one" study.

I wrote here last December how I was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer. My Internist wasn't the one who took care of me then, and he asked me if the surgeon who managed my care ever determined the etiology of my ulcer.

"Well," I said, "At first he said there was a 90% chance it was caused by H. Pylori, then he said the test came back negative. But I think I had H. Pylori, because I could have sworn when I looked at my chart the test was positive."

"I guess it really doesn't matter," he said.

"Why do you say that?"

"I think the H. Pylori thing causing ulcers is over hyped." Then he rattled of some facts so fast they rolled right over my head.

"How do you think I got the ulcer then?"

"Nobody really knows for sure. It's just since many people have H. Pylori, some people say that is what causes ulcers. The truth is, they really don't know. So the pharmacy company has us doctors treating the H. Pylori, and all it does is run up the medical bill."

I wanted to say, "Kind of like Ventolin." But I held my tongue.

Later I told him how miserable I was last spring with allergies. "I decided I can't suffer like that again," I said. "This year, since you started me on Singulair, it's almost amazing the difference. It's almost like I don't have asthma."

You must note here that when I mentioned to him last Jan. that I should try Singulari, he told me he thought that drug was over hyped. In May I told him how wonderful the medicine was working for me.

He said, "I just started a new person on Singulair today based on your testimony last time you were here."

"Cool," I said, "I have heard some bad things about it, though."

"Really, like what."

"Well, one kid was having suicidal thoughts, so now they blame it on Sinulair. Like you say though, I think it's all overblown."

"Yeah, I've heard that too now that you mention it."

"So now you have a lot of moms taking their kids off Singulair based on the this, and it's very unfortunate. My childhood sucked because I had allergies so bad, and my doctor wouldn't even let me have anithystamines because on the box it said not to take it if you have asthma. Now they have this new drug that will allow these kids to live normal lives, and parents and doctors won't let their kids take it based on a fallacy. It's a shame."

"I agree."

"So, anyway, my allergies are basically non-existent right now, and I give Singulair credit. Of course it could be a coincidence, so I'm still open minded. But it seems to be working great."

"Cool."

"I kind of joke about it though. I tell everybody that since I started on Singulair I don't have allergy problems anymore, but I have suicide thought."

"Yeah," he laughed, "If your allergies come back you'll kill yourself."

There's some truth to that, too. I can understand how allergies can get so bad sometimes, that you might rather be dead. There were times when I was a kid, and even as recently as last summer, where the allergies were just unbearable. (Not that I would ever kill myself, I'm just saying that allergies can cause severe misery).

Singulair is a great medicine. It has worked a miracle for this RT. I think all asthmatics should at least try it if nothing else works, it beats the alternative of being miserable all the time.

Another bad thing about Singulari is it is expensive because it is still under patent.

Related articles: Some drugs get a bad rap, and Singulair: Another asthma miracle drug.

6 comments:

Amy said...

When other parents ask me about Singulair, I tell them my kid can't take it b/c of side effects (nothing suicidal, though) but that's a reason for her not to take it, not their kids.

I say, "Try it out, and just watch your kid very, very closely b/c it's a godsend for so many people."

But then, that's what I'd say for giving any meds to kids, even something as ubiquitous as Tylenol.

It may not work for my kid, but I know too many people who love Singulair to think it's a bad drug.

Freadom said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

It may work for you, Singulair, but it made my kid misreble for 5 years and I have watched my son go from being scared to sleep due to nightmares and anxiety, to being able to sleep. His serious behavior problems have almost vanished since about two weeks after he went off singulair. And just for the record, not one kid talked about suicide the kid went through with it and died. The family had a private conference with the FDA and that is why they are finally looking at this drug. You should do some research and you will find that there are more than just a few kids, there are adults and kids. This drug can very possibly change your chemical make up in your brain for good. If there is something else that works, why would you ever want to give your child something that has these kinds of warnings. I'm grateful my kid is happy again, even with his allergies and asthma!

Freadom said...

It's never a good idea to try a drug like Singulair just because it has a good ad campaign. For someone like me, however, where nothing else has ever worked, it certainly was worth a try, despite the risks involved.

Keep in mind, too, that I am not a doctor, and I do not endorse any products.

Freadom said...

However, I do take Singulair, work with pts who take it, and doctors who prescribe. All of them are always skeptical of drugs like Singulair, but prescribe it when nothing else has worked.

Anonymous: hopefully scientists continue to refine the drug and develop something that works for your child without the side effects.

Aubs said...

I am a huge fan of singulair! After my first son was hospitalized at the age of 1 with his asthma they started him on it and it has worked wonders! Now my second kiddo is on it since having some nasty asthma problems and he is doing great! They were both originally on zyrtec with it but i have taken them off of the zyrtec and right now the ONLY med they are taking is the singulair! I'm not a big fan of pumping them full of meds they don't truly need so i'm very happy to have found something that works so well for us!

As for the anonymous comment....there are ALOT of drugs out there that CAN have nasty side effects....it doesn't mean that they will. For my children nothing has worked like the singulair and we haven't experianced any negative side effects. Good for you for doing what is right for your child but judging other parents because of warnings out there is a little ridiculous.