My Experience With Singular
It’s not always easy to know if a medicine will work for you. Likewise, when you’re using it, it’s not always easy to know if it’s working. This is where some experimenting comes into play. It also helps to have a great doctor to work with you. That said, here is my experience with Singular.
Why do I take it?
I have allergic asthma. By 2002, I had decent control of my asthma. This was due to Advair. But, during the allergy seasons, my asthma seemed to get worse. Asthma symptoms were generally mild. But, allergy symptoms were horrible. I’d sniff and sneeze. So, obviously, there was a need for better control. The question was, how to get it?
In 1998, I learned of this new medicine called montelukast (Singular). My doctor never said anything about it, so I decided to use the wait and see approach. Finally, in 2002, after reading about Singular success stories, I decided to start the discussion with my doctor. “Have you ever heard of a medicine called Singular? Do you think it might help me?”
This lead to a discussion. It ended with him writing the prescription. “Let’s find out,” he said. He wrote the prescription. This began the experiment.
So, how do you know it’s working?
Not always so easy to tell. Let’s see, in 2007, I do remember saying to my doctor, “You know, I haven’t used my rescue inhaler at all the past month. Springs came and went, and I did not have horrible, nasty allergies. I felt great. My asthma is better controlled than ever before."
So, my doctor and I decided that I should continue taking it.
By 2012 I had a new doctor. He said to me, “You know, my other patients tell me they don’t notice a difference with Singular. So, I told them they could quit taking it. So, I’m thinking you can quit taking it if you want.”
I thought about it. I had no evidence that it worked for me. I just assumed it was what made me have good control I just kept taking it regardless. Plus, it was still under patent. Each pill cost me $1. So, I decided to experiment with NOT taking it. And this experiment went on for the next three years.
Over the ensuing years, I had various asthma episodes. One of them even caused me to go to the ER. It was like, “Why is my asthma so bad now? Like, what am I doing differently?”
You know how it is. Life gets busy. Other things happen. And we forget. We overlook the obvious. So, the answer did not pop out at this moment in time.
What happened next?
How I got back on Singular was a mere coincidence.
Two summers ago I had horrible allergies. It was so bad I was taking Sudafed a lot.
I mean A LOT!!!
One night it was 2 a.m. I woke up sniffling and sneezing so bad I couldn’t sleep. I decided I’d benefit from a Sudafed. I went to the kitchen. I opened the medicine cabinet. I opened the Sudafed box. I shuffled through it looking for a Sudafed. Nothing. They were all gone.
I decided I had to do something. So, I opened an old, expired bottle of Singular. I took one. I watched TV while waiting to see if it would work. I went through quite a few tissues while waiting. Like, maybe half a box.
Twenty minutes later all symptoms were gone. I felt great. I went back to bed. I slept like a baby the rest of the night.
What to make of this?
I reported this to my doctor. He said, “Well, every asthmatic is unique. So, if Singular works for you, great!” He wrote a new prescription. I haven’t stopped taking it since. Allergy season this year came and went. No symptoms. No Sudafed. No Claritin. Nice.
I decided I have a phenotype that releases lots of leukotrienes. Singular blocks their effects. This allows me to have better asthma control. Not perfect control. But, much, much better. Singular is definitely a boon for this asthmatic.
So, how long will I take it? Well, that depends. Will another, better medicine some day come along. I've learned from past experiences that, if something is working, you take it every day as prescribed. But, if something new comes along, then that might inspire a discussion with my doctor. In the meantime, Singulair it is.
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