Well, what I didn't realize is that ANY allergy medication has the potential to affect a child's behavior! Do you recall last year when I blogged about some behavioral issues my daughter was having? She seemed to suddenly just turn into a very obstinate and rebellious child and I was trying to help her through it. Well, over the course of this last year we figured out what the problem was. It was not Gess going through a "phase" it was her allergy medication!Behavior and mood-related changes have been reported. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you or your child have any of these symptoms while taking SINGULAIR:
- agitation including aggressive behavior or hostility
- bad or vivid dreams
- disorientation (confusion)
- feeling anxious
- hallucination (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
- suicidal thoughts and actions (including suicide)
- trouble sleeping
See, when Gess had her tonsils out we had to take her off medications before her surgery. She got sick for some time after and she ended up off the medication for awhile. We noticed that as she healed her behavior was much better! We thought, maybe the whole problem was her breathing issues and not resting well and that the surgery helped that out. Then, her allergies began to act up so we had to place her back on her meds. Then the behavioral issues suddenly reappeared! It was like turning on a switch. Within a week we were back to aggressive and defiant behavior again.
I spoke to my doctor and mentioned my concern so we switched her medication and tried something else. We had the same problem. We even tried Singulair since they ALL seemed to have the potential to affect behavior. It too changed her mood. We finally settled to just use over the counter medications using Benadryl at night and Sudafed during the day. Do you know we even get some behavior adjustment with just those? It's not as severe as some of the prescription medications but there still is an apparent change.
You know I expected behavioral medications to affect children this way. Medications for ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, and those types of conditions all have a risk of making children (and adults) experience the side effects mentioned above. I had no clue, however, that an allergy medication could do the same thing!
So I have to get the word out, especially to parents of children with DS. If your child is having behavioral issues AND is on allergy medication, you might look to see if there is a correlation. It very well could be the case, and if it is, we need to start letting our health professionals know!
I read in the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report of Health Supervision for Children with Down syndrome that there is some evidence that children with Down syndrome are more sensitive to behavioral medication than their peers. The report states:
"The use of medication for behavioral management should be discussed between the primary care physician and specialists involved in the child's care, because children with Down syndrome may be more sensitive to certain medications. Although there has been little research to directly address the use of psychotropic medications among children with Down syndrome, anecdotal reports indicate that such children may differ in their response to medications."
It seems to me that if our children may respond differently to psychotropic drugs and since allergy medications have the same potential to affect behavior as psychotropic drugs do, then our children may be more sensitive to allergy medications as well. I certainly wish they would do more studies to see just how prevalent this might be.
So please, if you have a child with behavioral issues and they are on a regular dose of allergy medication, try and find out if it is related. If your child only takes allergy medication as needed, watch their behavior and see if you have any issues as well.
I only offer this to you to inform you of the risk. Maybe Gess is some strange case which makes her more sensitive than most, I just do not know. What I do know is that parents should be told of the risk of side effects no matter what! Until I brought this up, I had no idea that her allergy medication had the potential to do that. According to our doctor ALL allergy medications can do that. If nothing else, we need to be told that! We need to know what these drugs might do to our kids and so now you know. Please share this information with others who might need to know too. It's a scary thing to watch your child transform before your eyes, knowing it's a drug that is supposed to help is downright frightening.