Montelukast is a drug prescribed by a doctor. It is often found under the brand-name Singulair. It is used to treat asthma symptoms and symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and perennial allergic rhinitis symptoms that restrict breathing. It is not however designed to treat an asthma attack.
The most common symptoms of asthma that users face is wheezing and shortness of breath. For this reason, montelukast is often given to patients suffering from bronchospasm. When taken before exercise montelukast reduces the inflammation that can lead to exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). When taken regularly, montelukast can decrease the number of times a quick-relief inhaler is needed.
In cases where regular allergy medications prove ineffective, montelukast can be taken to treat hay fever conditions like runny nose and sneezing. Since commonly prescribed allergy medications are considerably safer, montelukast should only be used if none of the other medications prove effective.
In some instances, montelukast is used to treat hives (urticaria) that last more than six weeks.
What is montelukast?
Montelukast is derived from montelukast sodium. It belongs to a category of drugs called leukotriene receptor antagonists that treat inflammation and congestion. The purpose of these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is to keep the airways open.
Montelukast does this by limiting the body’s reaction to asthma and perennial allergic rhinitis triggers like pollens by reducing peripheral blood eosinophilia. In clinical trials, it proved most successful when used with an antihistamine in combination therapy.
Montelukast Side Effects
There are common side effects that users should consider before taking montelukast. These are usually mild like runny nose, stomach pain or abdominal pain, or an allergic reaction. Serious side effects can include an upper respiratory infection which can lead to trouble breathing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently strengthened its boxed warnings for adverse effects and adverse events related to Singulair and generic versions.
The FDA discovered that healthcare providers and health care professionals were not aware of these risks. These warnings address mental health side effects that occurred in 1 out of every 100 participants. Side effects caused neuropsychiatric events that include suicidal thoughts or aggressive behavior.
Before starting any medication it is important to consult your health care provider to avoid drug interactions with your current medications. Some interactions can create serious health complications.
If you have a rare hereditary condition like galactose intolerance, do not take montelukast.
A single dose of montelukast is delivered through a 10 mg tablet for the treatment of asthma symptoms. It is taken one hour before food or two hours after eating.
Children who are six months of age to five years old can take montelukast oral granules. Children six to 14 should take a chewable tablet.
Montelukast contains phenylalanine. Phenylalanine may be harmful to children with phenylketonuria.