Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My baby... on singulair

I don't like to be overly concerned about medication side effects and the news about meds can certainly scare you, so I take it with a grain of salt. But today's blurb about singulair being linked to depression made me take note. We have recently narrowed G's meds down to singulair. So, I decided to research it. As I read some of the posts from other patients and parents I recalled reading information like this when she first started taking it. However, she was about 1.5 and she hadn't had much time to develop a personality after being sick from allergens in breast milk her first year of life. She had never slept well because of the allergies. So, her continuing to be difficult to put to bed most nights and her refusal to take naps didn't concern me. The reports of singulair side effects in young children had to do with terrible misbehavior, violent temper tantrums, words and expressions of anger and hate. G didn't have these. She didn't say "I love you" voluntarily until close to three years old, but who knows why that is. She was always a very clingy baby and toddler and hugged and loved in a physical way. Her speech may be more delayed because of fluid in her ears until 2. This year at three years old she has become such a loving child. She's still clingy, especially when I work and she's very affectionate with kisses and hugs and tells us she loves us. However, two problems have lingered: her hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping. She is getting better with going to sleep soon after being put to bed these days and she is less hyperactive as well. But it's not completely gone. Last November my mother visited for a few days during the week. She witnessed Gillian's terrible bed time habits which may have been worse because she was there, but were sometimes that way when she wasn't. So, I didn't know. But she was difficult that week. She stayed up till 11 pm one night looking at books in bed, playing in her room, getting up to see where I was. If she takes a nap, which she sometimes will do on the couch or if Will was home and could see she was exhausted he'd put her to bed, she will stay up until at least 9 pm when bedtime is 7pm. She usually wakes between 6 and 7 am. It seems the more tired she would get at night the more active she would be. Just sitting on my lap she would constantly move her legs like someone with restless leg syndrome. She would crawl off my lap, walk around the room, come back to me. This was all after 8 pm when she was totally exhausted and should have been sleeping. As I've said, it hasn't happened as much recently, but looking at singulair's possible side effects, I can't help but wonder if that little pink pill is responsible for her hyperactivity, insomnia, agitation, and irritability. She can be a very whiny, cranky child much of the time. Like not recognizing her allergy sooner, I feel guilty about this, too. Who is this little girl? How has her behavior been shaped by her health and medications? We've limited activities where she'd be sitting for a long time because she couldn't keep quiet or still. I'll be stopping the singulair and we'll see how things change. She always looks tired and only sleeps about 10-11 hours a night with no naps. That's not enough for a three year old who should get more like 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.

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