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Montelukast (Generic Singulair)
What Is Montelukast?
Montelukast is a drug that predominantly treats asthma and helps to reduce asthmatic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks from occurring. It is sometimes referred to as Montelukast Sodium and will be available for prescription in oral tablet or chewable tablet forms.
This medication is sold under the brand name Singulair and is classified as a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) or an antileukotriene.
How Does Montelukast Work?
Montelukast works to calm the symptoms of asthma and some severe allergic reactions by reducing inflammation. Effectively, it prevents the narrowing of your airways, enabling you to breathe easier while reducing the chances of asthma attacks happening.
Members of the LTRA family work by blocking substances in the body called leukotrienes. These substances cause inflammation and swelling in the airways, reducing your ability to breathe. When they are blocked, the body returns to a more normal state, and inflammation is greatly reduced.
It is crucial to note that Montelukast is not a fast-acting emergency response drug. It will typically work when taken regularly, gradually reducing inflammation over time. If you suffer from asthma, you will still need to use an asthma pump for quick relief.
What Is Montelukast Used For?
As mentioned, Montelukast is first used to treat the common symptoms of asthma in children and adults. This medication has been proven to help reduce the following issues in asthmatic patients:
- Breathing issues
- Tightness in the chest
- Excessive coughing
Due to the way it works, Montelukast can also be used for other conditions related to the airways and breathing difficulties. Conditions such as bronchospasm and exercise-induced asthma can also be treated with this medication.
In addition to this, it is not unheard of for Montelukast to be used as a treatment for allergies. It can be used for allergic rhinitis symptoms in both children and adults, particularly if these symptoms cause breathing difficulties.
However, it will only be used to treat allergic rhinitis if more mainstream methods have not helped – such as antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays.
What Are the Side Effects of Montelukast?
Montelukast is a prescription drug, meaning it can exhibit some side effects in certain individuals. There is no guarantee that side effects will be present, so keep an eye on your body to see if any of the following common side effects are seen:
- Mild stomach pain/irritation
- Mild pain in the ear or a build-up of pressure
- Mild cold symptoms
It is common to see any of these side effects and they are all on the mild side. You shouldn’t worry about them because they will clear up within a few days or a week. The time to be concerned will be when these side effects do not go away or get even worse. If this happens, contact your doctor immediately.
Similarly, you should seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms are present:
- Severe anxiety
- Bouts of depression
- Loss of memory
- Excessive body tremors
- Suicidal thoughts
- Vivid and frequent hallucinations
- A severe rash/hives
- Swelling of the face
Most people do not experience these side effects, and they are incredibly rare and severe. Do not waste time if you start suffering from any of the severe side effects – stop taking Montelukast and consult with a medical professional.
How to Take Montelukast?
Montelukast can be taken as an oral tablet that’s swallowed daily, or as a chewable tablet that can be taken with meals.
Dosages and frequency will vary from patient to patient as it is based on the severity of your condition. As an example, individuals with mild asthma will take a lower dose on a lower frequency than those with severe asthma.
Never take more than one dose of this medication within 24 hours. If you miss your dose for whatever reason, skip it and continue with your next dose the following day. It is not advised to purposely skip doses as Montelukast works best when taken regularly to help gradually reduce inflammation in the airways over time.
Furthermore, you will take Montelukast alongside your asthma inhaler and other asthma medication. Do not use it as the only treatment for asthma, particularly if you are prone to asthma attacks. Keep your inhaler with you at all times and do not rely on Montelukast as an instant-relief treatment – use your inhaler instead.
Always read through the instruction pamphlet and consult with a doctor before taking Montelukast. This will help you know if any other medications you take interact with this drug, or what you should avoid doing while on this medication. If your symptoms persist or get significantly worse, talk to your doctor about either upping the dose or trying a different treatment option.
The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Who Should Not Take Montelukast?
You shouldn’t take Montelukast if:
- You are allergic to Montelukast or any of its ingredients
- If you have a history of mental health issues or neuropsychiatric events
- If you have kidney or liver problems
- You have a history of liver problems.
- If you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
The list above is not exhaustive. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking Montelukast. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help assess the risks and benefits
What Are the Common Side Effects of Montelukast?
Montelukast (Singulair) is generally well-tolerated and the side effects are generally mild. But, just like with any other medication, it can cause some side effects. The most common side effect of Montelukast include:
- Upper respiratory infection
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Earache or ear infection
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sinus infection
It is important to note that Montelukast has been associated with an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior, so it’s important to be aware of this potential risk.
These are just some of the common side effects of taking Montelukast. If you experience any of these side effects or any others that concern you, make sure to talk to your doctor right away.
What to Avoid While Taking Montelukast?
When taking Montelukast, there are some things you should avoid. These include:
- Avoid drinking alcohol – Consuming alcohol while taking montelukast might increase the risk of liver problems, especially if taken in excess.
- Aspirin – Some people with asthma can experience exacerbated symptoms when they take aspirin or other NSAIDs.
- Other medication – Always inform your healthcare provider of any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you’re taking to ensure there are no interactions.
The list is not exhaustive. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking Montelukast, so they can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help assess the risks and benefits.
How Long Does It Take for Montelukast to Work?
In general, it takes about two hours for oral Singulair to start producing results. It can take up to a week for the full effects of Montelukast to be felt. Keep in mind that results and dosage may vary depending on individual factors and the condition being treated.
Can You Buy Montelukast Over-The-Counter (OTC)?
No, Montelukast (Singulair) is a prescription medication and as such cannot be purchased over-the-counter. You can only get it through a licensed healthcare provider.
Can You Get Montelukast Online?
Yes, you can get an online prescription for Montelukast from DrHouse. DrHouse offers a safe and secure telehealth service where you can start on-demand virtual consultations with a licensed doctor.
The doctor will discuss your symptoms and review your medical history before deciding whether or not Montelukast is the right solution for you.
You can then either have the medication delivered directly to your door or pick it up from the pharmacy of your choice. It’s fast, convenient and safe!
How Do I Get an Online Prescription for Montelukast?
Getting an online prescription is simple and fast with DrHouse. All you have to do is:
- Sign up
- Download our telehealth app
- Fill in your personal information
- Answer a few questions about your medical history
- Start an on-demand virtual visit with one of our healthcare providers
Once you have started the virtual visit, your provider will determine whether you are a good candidate for Montelukast. If they deem it to be an appropriate treatment option for you, they will issue an online prescription which can then be filled at any pharmacy of your choice.
Can I Get a Refill for Montelukast From DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a refill for Montelukast from DrHouse. To refill your Montelukast prescription, start an on-demand virtual visit with one of our healthcare providers. During the visit, they will assess your condition and determine if a refill is required.
If they deem it to be an appropriate treatment option for you, they will issue an online prescription which can then be filled at any pharmacy of your choice.
What Other Medications Are Available for Treating Asthma?
Other medications that can be used to treat asthma include:
- Salmeterol (Serevent)
- Omalizumab (Xolair)
- Mepolizumab (Nucala)
- Prednisone (Deltasone)
- Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
Not that the list above is not exhaustive and the medication listed above may not be appropriate for your specific condition. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new medications, so they can provide guidance tailored to your situation and help assess the risks and benefits.
What Other Medications Are Available for Treating Allergies or Allergy Symptoms?
Other than Montelukast (Singulair) there are many different medications available for treating allergies or allergy symptoms, including:
- Azelastine (Astelin)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Olopatadine (Patanese, Pazeo)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- Fluticasone propionate (Flonase)
- Mometasone (Nasonex)
- Budesonide (Rhinocort)
- Triamcinolone acetonide (Nasacort)
- Ciclesonide (Omnaris, Zetonna)
- Beclomethasone (Beconase, Qnasl)
- Zafirlukast (Accolate)
- Zileuton (Zyflo)
This is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other medications available that can be used for treating allergies and allergy symptoms.
It is important to note that some medications may be more effective for treating certain allergies than others. Also, each of these medications will have different doses, side effects, and potential interactions. Therefore it is essential to speak with your doctor about the right corticosteroid for you before taking any medication.