Singulair, an allergy and asthma medication, may be the right choice for you, especially if you suffer from chronic sinusitis. It works by blocking leukotrienes, which are chemicals produced by the body in response to allergens or other problems, and prevents constriction of the air passages which is a good thing if you have sinusitis, allergies or asthma.
Singulair is one of several medications listed as leukotriene inhibitors. These inhibitor drugs keep the bronchial tubes from contricting. Some researchers have found this type of medicine to be almost as effective as steroids without the serious side effects.
I started taking Singulair about a month ago after trying a number of other remedies for my allergies and sinusitis, and have been pleased with the results. Nothing else has worked as effectively to stop my chronic stuffy nose and post-nasal drip.
Flash back about a year ago, I would never have imagined myself taking Singulair. That’s about the time the drug was getting bad press for a possible link between its use and increased risk of depression, mood changes and suicidal behavior. Those side effects are listed as rare serious side effects and are still under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration. I remember seeing the news reports and saying to myself, “You’d never catch me using that stuff.”
I guess this proves that you never say “never.” My health-care provider recommended it to me because she said it wouldn’t dry out and constrict my nasal passages like the other medication (a prescription antihistamine) that I was using. I was suffering with a difficult-to-eradicate sinus infection and definitely needed to open up my sinus passages not constrict them. I was so miserable I was willing to try the 10-day sample she gave me.
The first one I took gave me cause for concern. I was waiting for the side effects but nothing happened except I felt less stuffy and just kept getting better as they days went on. The bad press Singulair had gotten definitely made a negative impression on me that was quickly changing.
That’s not to say there are no side effects with Singulair. It has many of the same ones listed for other allergy medications. Here are the most common ones listed for adults: headaches -- in up to 18.4 percent of people; the flu-- up to 4.2 percent; stomach pain -- up to 2.9 percent; cough -- up to 2.7 percent; and indigestion or heartburn -- up to 2.1 percent.
Other common Singulair side effects (occurring in 1 to 2 percent of people) included: weakness or fatigue, fever, trauma (accidental injury), gastrointestinal infections, tooth pain, dizziness, nasal congestion. Serious side effects are worsening of allergies or asthma, depression and hallucinations.
Singulair also is prescribed for children but should be used with caution as there are more side effects including sore throat, flu, fever, sinus infections, diarrhea, indigestion, ear infections, laryngitis, headaches, cough and stomach pain.
Singulair has definitely proved to me the importance of weighing the risks of taking a medication with the potential benefits. In my case, my sinuses were affecting the quality of my life and taking a minimal risk was worth it.