Asthma Meds Prescribed for Allergies?

Updated on May 12, 2016
T.D. asks from New York, NY
9 answers

ds had a coughing fit that dh (who has asthma) said it could be related to asthma ds then got super snotty. fast foreward a month ( and a sinus infection that he was given amoxicillin for) he had another coughing fit, this time at school the teacher said the same thing as dh.
i took him to the pedi. she says there is no sign of asthma.
but then gave him a script for singular saying that it helps allergies. and to also put him on zyrtec or claritin to fix the allergies.
so i got the script. the meds leaflet says nothing about it helping allergies, and that its use is for controlling asthma. (which dr says he does not have)
so now i am a bit confused. dh says don't give him the singulair, and try the zyrtec.
i don't know what to do. why would the dr put him on a med to prevent something he does not have even after being informed that we don't do drugs unless absolutely necessary.

i am looking for insight and ideas. i have had the meds 2 days and have not started them and he has improved on his own (less snotty from allergies)
i don't have asthma, and basically no experience with it so i am clueless as to what to think any insight would be appreciated.

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answers from Boston on

My son, who has asthma, took singulair for a number of years for both allegies and his asthma. However, a month or 2 before his 8 th birthday he stopped taking it because he was now allergic to it _lol-and it was now giving him hives and he would have to then take benadryl...his lung functions were fine and we just do benadryl or claritin for his allergies now

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answers from Milwaukee on

Without seeing the patient information you were provided, I can't say why it doesn't list allergies in the handout. We just studied these drugs in my pharmacotherapy course this year, & I looked up information on Singulair in a healthcare professional database.

Rest assured, Singulair is approved to treat BOTH asthma & seasonal allergies. Pediatric doses (<15 years) are typically 4-5mg, & adult doses (>15 years) are ~10mg.

There is a lot of crossover of symptoms between asthma & allergies, so it is reasonable that a drug would be able to treat both, but that other medications (such as the Zyrtec & Claritin recommended) would be used to treat the underlying cause of allergies.

If you have more questions, your local pharmacist should be able to provide you with a lot of information on these medications. Hope this helps! T. :)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Zyrtec is an anti-histamine, and Singulair works on asthma and allergies (anti-inflammatory). So they're often prescribed together. They make each other work better.

Check out web md

It says "This medication is also used to relieve symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis (such as sneezing, stuffy/runny/itchy nose). It helps make breathing easier by reducing swelling (inflammation) in the airways..."

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If your son's coughing fit was bronchial (vs. higher up in the throat), the use of something like Singulair might make sense as an anti-spasmodic. I used to get major bronchitis with every slight cold, and on a couple of occasions I was given asthma meds to stop the spasms so I could breathe and sleep. I hated it but then again I hated being so sick and never getting any sleep.

Don't hesitate to call the pediatrician's 24/7 line if you don't feel you've had your questions answered. Any good doctor will understand that patients and parents get a lot of info thrown at them, then have questions afterwards.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

After a childhood of bronchitis often, as an adult I was diagnosed with allergy induced's really more like asthma-like symptoms. The coughing is horrible when sick and lingering when not. It's been controlled for some time and currently not medicated at all. I can tell you right now...Singulair is the best thing since sliced bread! It absolutely does help that cough. I needed it for a while after being sick and once well the cough stayed. Singulair controlled it.

You're son's symptoms sounds very much like mine before I was diagnosed with allergies (has he been tested yet?). My daughter does have allergies that requires medication (so bad that she needs Zyrtec in the morning (Clariton was not strong enough) along with a nasal spray and Singulair in the evening. It has made the difference between her being sick for weeks at a time and almost hospitalized and hasn't been sick for about two years.

Sometimes a medicine that is for one condition, can be used for others too.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

If he has already improved on his own I don't think you need to do anything. I guess the way to find out if your son has allergies is to get him tested at an allergist...but that is expensive. I did it with my kids and it's good to know. Sometimes there is a pollen bloom that will affect someone for a week or so and then they are fine. Perhaps this is your son? Singulair and Zyrtec are both used for allergies. And you can take both at the same time. But they work in totally different ways. Zyrtec is an antihistimine. Antihistimines block histamine, a chemical that makes your body release white blood cells into tiny blood vessels to fight an infection. Your immune system is reacting to pollen. So, by blocking the histimines your body does not react and give you allergy symptoms like congestion, etc. Singulair is a leukotriene antagonist and it regulates genes expression via protein synthesis. This means it tells cells in your body to stop making proteins that cause inflammation, such as histamine, and on the flip side to start making proteins that suppress immune responses. Nasal sprays such as Flonase work the same as Singulair except it is doing it in your nasal passage only. This is a really great article to read that easily describes the differences in allergy meds:
I am changing my thinking...because I do not know much about using Singulair for asthma but if your doctor has recommended it then I would ask the doc more questions. The allergist put my daughter on asthma medication when she was diagnosed with pollen allergies and I thought it was strange because she was showing no signs of asthma. When the round was done I never did it again and now 2 years later she still shows no signs of asthma. So, some doctors are extra careful I guess.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Many drugs treat multiple symptoms. Otherwise why would OB/GYN's prescribe antihistamines to pregnant women for nausea? Morning sickness isn't a result of an allergy attack, it's due to changes going on in your body.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Singulair is also an allergy med. Like all allergy meds, it doesn't work for everyone. You have to try it an see.

I am wondering about your dr trying several new things at once though. We went to a ped allergist, and he had us try one med at a time to figure out what worked best for our child. We went through the common antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin), then singular, then the corticosteroid nasal sprays. For my child, singular and Claritin were useless. Zyrtec made him too tired to function. So now he takes Allegra and when allergy season really kicks up, we add the nasal spray. But every person is different and our dr had us go through a logical trial of the available allergy meds to find his best combination.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My grandaughter, 15, takes singular for asthma and allergies. Singular helps with congestion. One doesn't have to have allergies to take it. If his doctor didn't test for allergies, how can he say your son doesn't have allergies? Perhaps he prescribed the Zyrtek to see if it helped. I'm guessing Zyrtek is helpful for congestion even if not caused by allergies. I don't know.

I suggest you talk with his doctor so that he can tell you why he wrote those prescriptions and you can make an informed decision.

I suggest that asthma and allergy meds treat the symptoms which are similar to those in allergies and asthma.

1 mom found this helpful
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