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Deciding to stop taking/giving a medication

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 09:14 am
At the first of summer Mo was put on a new allergy medication, Singulair. When it was prescribed I read the patient enclosure so that I would be aware of possible side effects and I would know what to look out for.

None of the listed side effects happened but because of some.... errrr.... recent issues I decided to look a little further today and came across some real horror stories about kids taking this medication. (http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=20829&name=SINGULAIR)

I'm always a little suspicious of self-reported side effects found on the internet -- especially when they relate to children and behavior because there are SO MANY things that can cause changes in behavior -- including puberty, which Mo's doctor feels he's in the early stages of.

Singulair has worked brilliantly on Mo's allergies, which can be rather severe but now I'm concerned that it might be contributing to some problem behavior.

Have you ever quit taking/giving a medication because of side effects not listed in the patient information?

What happened?

Has anyone here had problems with Singulair?
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 10:49 am
I think the problem might actually be with the other medicine he's taking: Flonase -- a steroid.

Has anyone had experience with this drug?
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 02:06 pm
Boomer, I take Singulair. Never had a problem. I've taken several different kinds of steroids, although not the one that Mo is taking. I had some nasty side effects from the steroids.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 02:41 pm
@Roberta,
Thanks, Roberta. Our doctor takes Singulair and swears by it. It has helped Mo's allergies so much better than anything else we've tried. I'd hate to take him off of it.

I called his doctor today and left a message that I was concerned about side effects. The nurse called me back saying "It sounds like depression, not side effects". So we have an appointment in a couple of hours to talk about it.

I printed out this information from www.drugs.com

Quote:
Singulair side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Singulair: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, or thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself;

tremors or shaking;

severe sinus pain, swelling, or irritation; or

worsening asthma symptoms.


And:

Quote:
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking fluticasone.

Side effects may include:
Abdominal pain, aches and pains, agitation, aggression, anaphylactic reaction, back problems, bad taste in mouth, brittle bones, bronchitis, bruising, cataracts, congestion, cough, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dry nose, eye problems, facial changes, fever, flu, headache, hives, hoarseness, indigestion, itching, loss of speech, mouth infection or swelling, nasal congestion, nasal irritation or burning, nasal sores, nausea, nosebleeds, rash, respiratory tract infection, runny nose, shortness of breath, sinus problems, sneezing, sore or irritated throat, stunted growth, swelling of the face and tongue, vomiting, weight gain, wheezing, worsening of asthma






ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:04 pm
@boomerang,
Yikes. I see your concern.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:37 pm
@boomerang,
I stopped with the Flonase - strictly use a variant of the neti pot with somewhat better results.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:39 pm
@ehBeth,
That makes sense, taking the allergens away, away.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:41 pm
@ossobuco,
hamburgboy has had quite a good year re allergies. One big change - he no longer uses pillowcases that have been dried outside. That, plus regular saline irrigation has meant no other allergy meds required. That's pretty impressive. I'm considering giving up the air-dried pillowcases.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:54 pm
Clairtin and saline spray were what we were using and it was pretty effective up until late spring when poor Mo just stayed congested and miserable all the time. Plus, when his allergies are bothering him his behavior gets all out of what (allergy problems are sometimes diagnosed as ADD).

Now it looks like we're having problems with the medication for the allergies causing behavior changes.

I'm sure the doctor thinks I'm a lunatic, a crappy parent, or both.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:56 pm
I'm not gonna suggest nuttin' till you talk to the doctor. His symptoms could be a combination of things.

And the side effects listed with medications may be unlikely. (I worked for a pharmaceutical house. The percentages are often miniscule.)

The doctor probably thinks you're a concerned mother. But if he thinks you're a lunatic, so what.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:57 pm
@boomerang,
boomer, you are a lunatic and a crappy parent and a poopity head as well.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 03:58 pm
@boomerang,
I'm sure Mo isn't the only person having a bad time with allergies and meds and interactions. Trying to find the right treatment regimen isn't easy - especially when there's other stuff going on in someone's body (puberty!).

and once you find a good regimen, it may only work for a short while (as you've already discovered). I would suggest that whatever else, Mo keep up with the saline spray.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 04:46 pm
@boomerang,
But we don't, and the doctor should be watching for this stuff (or find a new one, she sniffs).

Back in my allergy heyday, I used to sneeze big fat sneezes something like 50 times in a row. This makes a person crabby, and perhaps aggressive, depressed, etc. Hard then to distinguish drug reaction and normal anger/rage at allergy. I'd be interested if Mo can tolerate the neti pot thing.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 04:53 pm
I was in the hospital because of a major asthma attack. The congestion was strangling me. I was given steroids and every decongestant on the meds list. Nothing worked. Nothing helped. All the pharmaceutical companies with all their research couldn't decongest me. A nurse practioner walked into my room with Sudafed, an old over-the-counter allergy med. I was breathing easily within hours.

Everybody's different. And what works one month might not work the next. I'm still taking the Sudafed, and it's still working. Hang in, kid. You'll find the answer--without the side effects.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 05:06 pm
@Roberta,
Yeh, I ended up with regular old benadryl. At one point I took many a day and at that point I didn't get all zonked from them (though I wasn't a child, so this is not advice). Then I weaned myself down to 1/2 of one, in the same environment: cat in household plus some mold in one place, and mold as routine in my city, in the second place, plus the rest of the 64 things I was tested as aggravated by. I am less allergic here in sandland, a fortuitous development.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 06:46 pm
I really, really, really like our family doctor. I wouldn't change doctors for anything, osso. Mo is kind of a conundrum and figuring him out is a tough job.

I had them compare his current weight to the weight he was at the visit where he was prescribed the meds -- June 30 -- he's put on 9 pounds in two months. That's just under 10% of his earlier body weight. That's alarming to me.

Mo's always been kind of a chunky guy. But I know he eats a healthy(ish) diet (no prepared foods since I cook from scratch, fresh from the garden vegetables) and he gets tons of exercise -- way more than most kids I'll bet. There are some chunky people in his bio-family so I've always assumed it's genetics but 9 pounds! I don't think you can write that off.

She did talk to him a lot about his moods and that's always so hard for kids because they just don't get the nuance of it. "Nervous" doesn't mean the same to a kid as it does to an adult. Neither does "frustrated" or "rage" or "depressed". It's hard.

Anyway.

We're going to take a medication vacation for 6 weeks and see what happens. School starts next week so that throws a whole new element into the mix that will make mood tracking that much harder.

We talked about puberty, nutritionists and psychiatrists.

We got referrals.

We talked about me being a poopity head.

If I didn't love this kid I would totally give up.

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 07:07 pm
So I'm in the kitchen and these lyrics float into my head...


Quote:
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains


.... seems appropriate.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 07:44 pm
@boomerang,
Good re the family doctor.

Listening.
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  3  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 07:44 pm
@boomerang,
I'm a nurse in a children's hospital. I don't see a lot of Singulair. It may just be the pediatricians in my area. I see a lot of Flovent, though, which is the same thing as Flonase. I'm not familiar with behavior side-effects with it.

As was mentioned, though, people vary widely in how they react to meds.

There's nothing like a really good pediatric pulmonologist.

And as I'm sure you know... when in doubt about an asthma attack... don't wait around.. go on to the hospital.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 08:02 pm
@boomerang,
A couple of thoughts:

Almost any medication given to kids is done off label. Drug companies rarely test medications on children for fear of liability.

Second, if you're concerned about depression then make sure he is evaluated by a competent child psychologist. Depression in children presents much differently from depression in adults.

Finally, if it's asthma and not allergies that's being treated, then be very, very careful. Make sure he has a rescue inhaler with him at all times.
 

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