TWO Gwent mothers have called for parents to be made more aware of the side effects of an asthma drug which has left their children having night terrors and becoming aggressive.

Rachel Masterman, 49, from Caldicot, and Kayleigh Hodge, 32, from Newport, both reported that they noticed a change in their children after they had started taking the drug Singulair.

And although they found that the drug had helped with treating their children’s asthma, they said that parents should be made more aware of the potential side effects before signing up for the treatment.

Mrs Masterman’s eight-year-old son Robbie was prescribed Singulair when he was two years old.

“Robbie had been admitted to hospital a few times with viral induced wheezing,” she said. “They had given him inhalers and steroids.

“When he was on Singulair, he had a few behaviour problems, but I just put that down to ‘the terrible twos.’

“But it was the night terrors that made me start to worry. He would sweat profusely and would see things coming from out of the walls which was pretty terrifying.

South Wales Argus:

(Robbie Masterman, eight, who suffered from asthma drug side effects with his dog Alice.

“His school then noticed a change in him. He had a low attention span and would become quite aggressive.

“We should’ve been told about the possible side effects and what to look for. My son should have at least been monitored.

“We don’t want the drug banned as it is proven that it does work.”

Mrs Hodge also reported that although her eight-year-old daughter Lily was helped by the drug with her asthma, she also suffered with the side effects.

“She was put on Singulair in November 2014," said Mrs Hodge. "The doctor said it was a new miraculous asthma drug. All I could think of was just getting my daughter out of hospital.

“A few months later she said she was dreaming of graves and that there were monsters coming out of the walls.

South Wales Argus:

(Kayleigh Hodge and daughter Lily, eight, who suffered from asthma drug side effects.

“She just wasn’t herself. It was like Jekyll and Hyde.

“In 2016 the dosage was put up, as she was getting older, and it was then I decided she shouldn’t be having it anymore.

“You could tell something wasn’t right. She used to say that there were things crawling on her. She would be screaming as we walked to school. She was adamant that there were people out to take her away.

“I was told it was very rare that it would have an effect on her mental health.”

A spokeswoman for MSD, the pharmaceutical company which developed the drug, said: “For the millions of people suffering with asthma or allergic rhinitis, Singulair has been an important treatment option for appropriate patients, including children, for over 20 years.

“As with all medications, there can be side effects, and these are outlined in the accompanying patient information leaflet.

“In the patient information leaflet for Singulair, this includes information outlining less common side effects such as behaviour and mood related changes.

“The safety and efficacy of our products is paramount to MSD. Therefore, MSD strongly recommends that if any patient is suffering an adverse reaction to any product or treatment, the patient or parent/guardian should speak with their healthcare professional or pharmacist, who should report it to the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).


“The MHRA regularly review the safety and efficacy of products based on this reporting.

“Singulair went off patent in 2013 and the majority of patients in the UK are now prescribed the generic versions of the product known as montelukast.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) list abnormal behaviour, depression, irritability, muscle complaints and sleep disorders among the drug’s “uncommon” side effects.

A spokeswoman for Asthma UK said that these side effects from taking Singulair were “not very common.”

The charity’s website adds: “If you (or your child) get any side effects speak to your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible. You may find that there are some simple things you can do to help prevent or reduce these side effects.”