FDA panel votes to keep Singulair as a prescription
Recently, a panel of expert advisors to the FDA voted against Singulair becoming an over-the-counter medication. The panel voted 11-to-4 against selling the popular allergy drug without a doctor’s approval.
The main reason for the no-vote was due to the concern over asthma patients using Singulair to treat their asthma as a rescue medication. Unlike inhaled bronchodilators that serve to provide immediate relief of asthma, Singulair would not provide the instant relief and could lead to significant delay in treatment and relief, thus causing further complications from asthma.
“A major concern would be for this medication’s inappropriate use in children as well as patients self-medicating their asthma,” said Dr. Harlan Weinberg, director of pulmonary medicine and pulmonary rehabilitation at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, NY. He also added that “medication interactions are always a concern and your use of Singulair with other prescription medications must be reviewed with your physician.”
The FDA does not always, nor does it have to, follow the advice of its expert panels, but it usually does. We’ll keep you posted on any changes to Singulair’s status.
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