Singulair works entirely differently than Albuterol/related bronchodilators. Singulair blocks something called Leukotriene B4 (LTE B4), which is a chemical messenger the immune system sends out during Asthma inflammation. Blocking LTE B4 reduces inflammation associated with Asthma and now also they're finding it helpful for people with Allergic Rhinitis.
Steroid inhalers can cause side-effects similar to oral steroids (Prednisone, etc.) but usually in much milder form. However, there are some who are very sensitive to the effects of any steroids, even topical ones (like in Asthma inhalers). For the more sensitive, they should discuss alternatives to steroids with their doctors.
Advair has a combination of a long-acting broncho-dilater and a steroid. Both can cause hyperactivity, but I'd suspect the broncho-dilator more than the steroid just because broncho-dilaters are notorious for causing that side-effect. An alternative would be, for example, Xopenex and a steroid-only inhaler.
My husband has exercise-induced and also allergy-induced asthma. He has found Singulair to be helpful as a maintenance medication, and has only needed his Xopenex a few times since starting the Singulair. I might need to talk with my allergist about Singulair, as I'm not fond of using the nebulizer all the time to keep my own asthma symptoms to a minimum...
I hope this helps...good luck,
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, T- & B-Cell Lymphopenia, malabsorption/malnutrition, Lyme Disease (Igenex Lab IgM WesternBlot positive/CDC negative), etc.
Meds: Pulmicort, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Homeopathy.