Posted by: tlee | 2011/06/09


Persistent dry gagging cough

Dear Doc
My 27 month old son has often suffered from sinus and ear infections. A month ago we had grommets put in and adenoids scraped out.

The paed has often told us that he suffers from mild asthma (based on a wheeze, coughing not going away even long after infection cleared up and my history of asthma) and wants to put him on Singulair sprinkles.

I have stubbornly resisted as I hate the idea of daily medication but I now think that has been silly of me.

His cough when he is not actually infected is dry and he almost gags (in fact if he has just had a big meal he does sometimes throw up after a coughing fit). It is worst in the morning as soon as he wakes up and in the evening before bed with not much during the day. He only coughs during the night when he is actually infected.

I have relented and started giving him the Singulair Sprinkles prescribed by the doc 3 nights ago. He takes the sprinkles happily directly into his mouth and we give it to him in the evening before bed.

I have 4 questions:

1. Does this sound like the correct treatment or should I take him to a specialist? (If so, what specialist?)

2. The Pharmacist and Paed told us to sprinkle it over his porridge in the morning but the package insert says take in the evening preferably directly into mouth or with one teaspoon of food - which is the correct method (I have been following package insert)?

3. I have heard of Singulair chewy tablets - my son already happily takes the Viral Gaurd chewy tabs so I am sure he would take these too - which is better, the Sprinkles or the tabs?

4. Since we started giving him the Sprinkles he has been very restless, battling to go to sleep and getting up frequently at night. He normally sleeps very well and only displays these exact symptoms when he has a lot of fluid or an infection in his ear/s which I don''t think could be the problem as he now has grommets (he has no fever and is not in any pain, just very restless). Is this a side effect of the Singulair sprinkles? If so what can I do about it? If not should I get his ears checked?

Thanks for all your advice!
Kind regards.

Expert's Reply



Your son has the typical symptoms of whooping cough also known as the '100 day cough'.There is a great deal of this illness going around at present. He does not have asthma and his cough is not that of an asthma cough. Singulair will not help him at all.When you use Singulair it must always be given at night and the Sprinkles are usually spread on a teaspoonful of food. Your son seems to have developed a rare side effect due to the Singulair, that of sleep disturbance and restlessness. He should stop the Singulair. Please go back to your doctor and ask him/her to treat your son's whooping cough.

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Posted by: tlee | 2011/06/09

Hi Doc
Not sure if you will read this part but i have spent a bit of time researching Singulair and on their offical website I foind the following text which has given me a big fright:

# SINGULAIR may cause serious side effects. Behavior and mood-related changes have been reported: agitation including aggressive behavior or hostility, bad or vivid dreams, depression, disorientation (confusion), feeling anxious, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there), irritability, restlessness, sleepwalking, suicidal thoughts and actions (including suicide), tremor, and trouble sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms while taking SINGULAIR.
# The most common side effects with SINGULAIR include upper respiratory infection, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, stomach pain, diarrhea, earache or ear infection, flu, runny nose, and sinus infection.
# Parents or guardians of a child with phenylketonuria: Note that cherry chewable tablets contain phenylalanine, a component of aspartame.

This has made me really worried - is it really a good thing to have my 2 year old take this daily? Are there any safer alternatives available?

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