Had to Take Our Son off Singular

Updated on October 02, 2012
C.D. asks from Castle Rock, CO
11 answers

Our six year old has been on 4 meds to control allergies and Asthma since he was two. Hospitalized four times before he was two. He has been on Pulmicort, Zyrtec, Nasonex and Singular. He is now in 1st grade. In Kindergarten the teacher suggested he be tested for ADD. He had trouble with focus and distract ability, impulse control. His Asthma has been well controlled with these four meds. His teacher this year mentioned he had trouble focusing, etc. Same as last year. I started reading more about Singular. I know there are many people who have bad reactions to the medication. I wasn't aware that it can cause impulsive behavior, attention problems, etc. Many things we assumed was just his personality and maybe he was ADD. We took him of Singular with our Asthma Dr.'s approval. Within a week his teacher said he is like a different kid. He is focused, calm and the ADD symptoms are gone. We know it was the Singular. Of course 10 days after quitting that med, he is sick. What type of medication can be used instead of Singular that will not interfere with the other regimen of meds that keep him healthy?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Three weeks off Singular and we have a child who has focus, self control and self direction in 1st grade. He listens and follows directions at home as well. The flip side is he has had two ear infections in two weeks, plus an Asthma flare. Saw Asthma Dr yesterday. She did not suggest going back to Singular, nor was quick to blame lack of it for the frequent ear infections. She did mention something that I had never heard before. He is going to a different school this year and therefore there are different types of germs that he hasn't been exposed to, and not to be surprised if he is more sick this school year than in the past. Who knew? Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions.

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

I know what you mean, Singular is a great med but made my sons tics 100x worse. Now he is med free except occ Zertec. I know you are not silly enough not to follow only the doc's recommendations. My Oldest takes Nasanex and Patenase (spell?) everyday. They are both nasal sprays but work on different problems of allergies. Nasal sprays are good because they don't cause as many systemic side effects. I hope you find the best solution or he out grows most of his problems soon. Thank goodness you were smart enough to recognize the problems with Singular

More Answers



answers from Boise on

Hello C.,

As a 12 yr medical researcher I can tell you that allergies and asthma are both rooted in adrenal dysfunction. Try to get your doctor to give your son a SALIVA cortisol test. If he won't do it you can order one yourself at canaryclub.org. He will also need an aldosterone blood test. He will need to be off all meds for 2 weeks before he takes these tests. Please research 'aldosterone' and 'cortisol' and 'HPA axis function' on the web.

When there are a lack of adrenal hormones or too many hormones being produced, there is malabsorption of minerals in the gut and kidney. Magnesium, calcium, vit D and potassium are low in those with high cortisol/aldosterone. If someone has low hormones, calcium and potassium will be high and sodium low. Magnesium can help with ASTHMA.

Zyrtec works by blocking the histamine that is coming out of the hypothalamus. (Look up HPA AXIS.) It blocks it by blocking the histamine (H1) receptor. The H1 receptor is expressed in smooth muscle , vascular cells of heart and central nervous system.

My daughter got adrenal issues after an infection at 3 yrs old. I did not realize at the time what was wrong. Earliest symptoms were an egg allergy, pain in her knees and hips (it moved around- the doc said it was growing pains) and sometimes she would sit and zone out on the beanbag for 20 minutes (at the time I thought she was quite an introspective child- now i realize she was having low blood sugar seizures.) At 11 she was fainting upon standing up. Blacking out. loosing blood flow to her brain. Her hands and feet turn purple from lack of oxygen. She has low blood pressure. She has asthmatic episodes. She was 12 before I found the answer to all her symptoms. Before puberty there will be 'less indicators' because there is less need for the hormones, but once puberty kicks in- the body is pressed into full drive for those hormones- and when it doesn't have them, it can barely function. Some people get so low on these hormones (in a stressful event or high demand on body, for example ,doing sports) they can go into a crisis state and go comatose or die. That is called an Addison's crisis.

Lack of adrenal hormones will eventaully affect the heart, lungs, kidney, brain, eyesight, skin, thyroid, immune system, concentration, sex hormones,liver, nutrient absorption, ability to eat, muscle tone, fertility, breath smell, carb and protein metabolism, and more. virtually every body part/function is affected. So although your child can lead a 'normal active' life on certain meds while young, it will catch up to him at puberty and adulthood and he will just get sicker and be on even more, and more, ..and more meds.

You cannot trust his health to representatives of drug companies. They have been trained to dispense drugs. You are going to have to start researching his issues and fight to get him well. Yes, you will have to fight to find out what is really wrong with him, so that he is not spending his adult life a very very sick man. Many adrenal issues can be healed when young, but as an adult, it is much harder to do so.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My situation is different because my son has allergies (not asthma) and definitely has ADHD. We found that his behavior was better when his allergies were under control. Rhinocort improved his behavior the most, but wasn't covered by our insurance. We give him Zyrtec when his allergies are really bad, and it doesn't seem to affect his behavior much. He prefers benadryl (which doesn't last as long) before bed, because he falls asleep more easily.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

In order to figure out which other med(s) to use for him now that he is not on Singulair, you must consult a PROFESSIONAL.
We are not Doctors.

I have Asthma, since childhood.
I also have allergies to dust and airborne things.
I have never been on 4 meds at one time. But that is me per MY situation.
AND, meds... affects all people differently, child or adult.
AND there may be overlap of drugs. Meaning a person might be taking more than 1 drug that both does the same thing.

YES, some meds, DO make a person hyper or irritable.

AND meds that are Corticosteroids... are typically not used, everyday for years. It is a steroid based, med. ie: Pulmicort and Nasonex.

Personally, I hate Zyrtec. BECAUSE, for me, it makes me very tired AND very IRRITABLE. And I am an adult. I hate that feeling, per meds.
So I use... over the counter Claritin. I get NO side-effects from this.

Are you seeing a regular Pediatrician... or a Pediatric Pulmonologist???
Because, ONLY a specialist, should be seen for Asthma.

You cannot just mediate your son willy nilly.... per suggestions of myself or what people say here. They do not know, your son's medical history.
AND, we are not Pharmacists.

There are MANY types of Inhalers as well.
There are maintenance and rescue inhalers.
There are also Bronchodilators, and then Corticosteroid based inhalers.
Pulmicort is corticosteroid based.
Usually, a Bronchodilator inhaler AND a Corticosteroid based inhaler, is used by an Asthmatic, per situation/need

- Nasonex as well... is a steroidal nasal spray. It is not to be used everyday for years.

Your son was/is taking Zyrtec, Nasonex and Singulair.
Well, Zyrtec is an antihistamine for allergies/runny nose, and Nasonex and Singulair BOTH treat allergic Rhinitis. So your son is taking 3 types of meds for "allergy" symptoms and runny nose. Plus, his Pulmicort.
And 2 of them is a steroid.

I have Nasonex too, my Doc says ONLY use it for a few days IF/when needed. It is not for everyday.
This is just my examples and thoughts, I have had Asthma and general allergies since I was a child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My granddaughter had this same effect with Singulair. Singulair is an antihistamine. The doctor switched her to Zyrtec. She also useses Nasonex and Advair. I can't tell from your post if your son is currently taking Zyrtec or if he has in the past.



answers from Salt Lake City on

This is a question you really should be asking the same asthma doctor who gave you permission to take him off Singulair. Or perhaps a different asthma doctor. He or she will best be able to advise you on alternatives that will not interact negatively with the other prescriptions your son is taking.



answers from Denver on

FYI - Zyrtec causes the same issues in both my son and myself. i found that neti pot eliminates the seasonal need for antihistamines in both my son and myself.
never tried singular but makes my mom crazy, crazy.

I think you need to push the doc or get a new doc. while drugs are good to get things under control, you now need to be approaching other methods.

have you been to National jewish? they got my cousin off all meds (she was on 2 steriods and 2 antihistamines) as well as an emergency inhaler.

try a neti pot. eliminate all triggers in the house - this means you need to move to unscented everything in cleaning supplies (use vinegar and baking soda) and in laundry. you also need to move to different personal care products with limited ingredients and no PEGs, no parabens, no "fragrance". if your doctor hasn't talked to you about these kinds of things, he's not doing his job. again national jewish takes a much more holistic approach that tries to eliminate or at least minimize drugs.

good luck.



answers from Des Moines on

Just an FYI....my son had those same side effects from Zyrtec. Check out the reviews for that med too. I hope the allergist can give you more insight.



answers from Boston on

We had to take our son off of it too a couple of years ago...after almost 7 years, the singulair (or onee of the inactiv ingredients in it) started giving him hives; his allergist checked his lung functions and said it was ok...a month or so later he also came off the symbicort(this one made him hyper) and was back on the flovent........good luck



answers from Seattle on

Conversely, the stimulant nature of my 10yos asthma meds work WONDERS with his ADHD. Whenever we have to go in for a massive dose under doctors supervision... We'd get about 3 weeks of school work done in a day. Beyond focused. Driven.

As far as side effects go... You'll need to work with your doctor. Doesn't help to be focused in school if you can't breathe, so instead you're in the hospital.

I feel for/with you, though.

While the stimulants rock the ADHd... The steroids KILLED his sleep. We're talking MAYBE in bed by 2am, and more often 6am for 6mo. We finally found a dosing WINDOW (between 2-230... That small) that let him sleep by 9pm. Took 6 mo to find it.

And we were STUCK with the med, because the only other ones that worked (pred & dex) cause major side effects in the long term, so we couldn't use them.

Work with pulmonary. It may be different meds OR doses OR timing may help. (Like half dose right AFTER school, instead of in the morning).



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son couldn't take it either. He developed a fear of separation and a quick temper. I took him off and he was ok. Thought I could try it again a couple years later and same thing happened. He has pretty much outgrown his need for anything now at 8 years old. He still has seasonal allergies but Zyrtec alone does the trick.
If you don't have a pediatric allergist I suggest getting one. There was such a difference in care from his pediatrician.
Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions