Singulair is a drug that treats conditions such as asthma and allergies. If a doctor prescribed the drug to you or a loved one, you might wonder, “What are the side effects of Singulair?” While not all side effects are severe, some individuals develop suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, and other significant adverse mental health effects after taking Singulair. Numerous suicides were also linked to the drug. Consequently, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a serious health warning regarding Singulair in early 2020.
If you or a loved one suffered severe adverse health effects after taking Singulair, you could file a lawsuit and pursue compensation such as medical expenses, pain and anguish, loss of income, and more. Every day, Morgan & Morgan’s attorneys fight powerful and greedy corporations that put profit over people. We want you to receive the care and attention you deserve and the compensation you need to go on with your life after suffering an injury. Contact us now for a free case review.
What Is Singulair?
Singulair is an anti-inflammatory used to treat and prevent asthma attacks, including exercise-induced asthma, in adults and children. Doctors also prescribe the drug for seasonal and year-round allergies, so-called allergic rhinitis. The drug can prevent wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and difficulty breathing in those living with asthma. Similarly, Singulair also relieves allergy symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.
Although not officially approved by the FDA to treat the condition, the drug is occasionally prescribed to treat chronic urticaria (hives). The drug works by blocking the substances in the body that can cause allergies and asthma. The FDA first approved Singulair (montelukast) in 1998. The drug is also available in generic form and comes as tablets, chewable tablets, and oral granules.
Side Effects Linked to Singulair
Some common side effects of Singulair (montelukast) include:
- Stomach pain
- Respiratory infection
- Throat irritation
- Abnormal liver function tests
- Stomach pain
- Runny nose
- Sinus infection
- The flu
Singulair’s infrequent side effects can include stomach infection, ear infection, toothache, dizziness, general weakness, and others.
Rare but Potentially Severe Singulair Side Effects
The drug Singulair has come under fire for some of the rare but potentially severe and life-changing neurological and mental health side effects, which can include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicidal behavior
- Aggressive or hostile behavior
- Bad dreams and insomnia
- Disorientation and Confusion
- Uncontrolled muscle movements
When looking at what the side effects of Singulair are, it is important to note that each patient responds differently to medication. Individuals taking Singulair could experience a range of side effects, depending on their overall health, other medicines they are taking, and other factors.
The FDA Linked Serious Side-Effects to Singulair
While all medicines potentially have side effects, even when prescribed and used correctly, some risks are disproportionate to the potential benefits. In March 2020, the FDA strengthened existing warnings about the drug, requiring the FDA’s most severe warning, a so-called “black box warning,” on every unit of Singulair. The agency stated that this was necessary because many doctors and patients were unaware of the drug’s severe mental health risks. Patients taking Singulair could experience extreme mood-related and behavioral changes and might even attempt suicide during treatment with the drug.
The FDA further stated that for some patients with mild disease, who could use alternative drugs, the benefits of using Singulair may not outweigh the risks. Patients suffering from allergies should only take Singulair if they cannot tolerate other medicines or cannot be treated effectively with alternative medication. Further, according to the FDA, doctors treating asthma patients should consider the risks and benefits of potential mental health side effects before prescribing Singulair. The agency also issued a recommendation to stop using the drug immediately when any mental health side effects occur.
Singulair Can Accumulate in Patients’ Brains
Animal studies suggest that Singulair can cross over the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from toxins and pathogens. Singulair’s ability to cross the protective barrier can lead to the drug accumulating in the brain tissue of patients, where it could potentially cause neurological and mental health disorders.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the use of montelukast is associated with adverse drug reactions involving the mental health of patients, including depression, aggression, and nightmares. However, the medication continues to be prescribed to millions of asthma and allergy sufferers, a large proportion of them children.
Unfortunately, for some, the FDA warnings come too late. Families of those who suffered devastating mental health problems and committed suicide after taking the drug argue that they never knew about the adverse health effects until their loved ones committed suicide. However, lawsuits allege that the Singulair manufacturer Merck & Co. knew of the risks and potential mental health side effects for years but failed to communicate this to patients and medical providers until recently.
Moreover, Merck had previously applied to patent the drug for use in patients experiencing cerebral spasms. Therefore, the drug manufacturer must have been aware that the drug could pass through the blood-brain barrier and potentially affect the brain of patients. The patent for Singulair to treat cerebral spasms was filed in 1996, a full two years before the drug was approved for the treatment of asthma and allergies in 1998.
The Manufacturer Could Be Liable for Your Damages
While no drug is without side effects, manufacturers must ensure their drug is reasonably safe for consumers. Side effects should not be so severe that the risks of taking a drug outweigh the benefits. When drugmakers put profit before the safety of consumers and deliberately hold back information or fail to warn patients of serious side effects, they could be liable for victims’ damages.
If you or a family member suffered serious side effects from taking Singulair, consider seeking legal advice promptly as you could have a case and receive compensation. Our lawyers can walk you through your legal options and help you move forward with a claim.
Compensation Singulair Victims Could Receive
If you suffered harm due Singulair, you could be entitled to damages, including:
- Healthcare expenses
- Future medical bills
- Psychological counseling
- Loss of income
- Awards for emotional anguish
- Out-of-pocket costs
You could also qualify for other damages, depending on the scope of your injury and expenses.