Earlier this year many Singulair users got a scare when the FDA announced it was investigating the asthma drug for links to suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
But researchers for the American Lung Association Tuesday announced that they've found no link between the asthma drug Singulair and an increased risk of suicide and depression. The researchers also said they found no emotional deterioration in adults or children who had taken the medication.
That's good news for asthma sufferers who take the drug, but it's also good news for Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical company that makes Singulair. According to a Bloomberg report Singulair was Merck's biggest product last year and the most-prescribed respiratory drug in the U.S., with worldwide sales growing 19% to $4.27 billion.
"Discovering adverse effects of a drug after it is on the market can be very difficult because the data are usually gathered from single events reported by doctors, which makes it is challenging to differentiate actual side effects from events unrelated to the drug," Norman Edelman, the lung association's Chief Medical Officer, said in the statement. The researchers' findings will be published in in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
In a MyAsthmaCentral.com poll published in March 2008, 22% of readers said they would stop taking Singulair, at least until the FDA investigation was concluded with favorable results. On the other hand, 61% of readers said they would not stop taking Singulair either because their doctors advised them not to or because they didn't see any reason to stop taking the drug.
Doctors all along said anyone taking Singulair should continue until research provided more information. Some of MyAsthmaCentral.com's experts also weighed in on the controversy. You can read what they had to say here:
For complete information on Singulair, its uses and side effects, visit our Singulair drug information page, which also has the lastest news on the Singulair investigation.
Published On: September 02, 2008