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Montelukast (Generic Singular) is a leukotriene inhibitor used to control symptoms of asthma and breathing difficulties in adults and children, and to treat symptoms of year-round or seasonal allergies. Generic montelukast has the same active ingredients and effectiveness as brand-name Singulair.
What is montelukast used for?
Montelukast is prescribed to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children 12 months or older. It can prevent the narrowing of airways from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in adults and children six years or older. It is not a rescue medication.
Montelukast can be prescribed for adults and children six months or older with severe year-round allergies, or for seasonal allergies in adults and children two years or older when other medications don’t work.
How montelukast works
Montelukast is a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA). This non-steroid oral medication blocks a chemical reaction in the airways that can lead to inflammation.
Most common side effects of montelukast
Severe side effects:
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Swelling in the face, lips, eyes, tongue, or throat
Itching, rash, or hives
Flu-like symptoms with rash, numbness in the arms or legs, or sinus pain and swelling
Blistering or peeling skin
Ear pain and fever (in children)
Other serious mental health side effects:
Bad or vivid dreams
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Disorientation or confusion
Irritability or restlessness
Uncontrolled muscle movements
Chewable montelukast tablets contain aspartame, so tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Montelukast dosage information
Tablet (10 mg)
Chewable tablet (4 mg, 5 mg)
Granules (4 mg)
How to Use Montelukast
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking montelukast and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your age and medical condition. If you are using the chewable tablets, chew them thoroughly before swallowing. If your child cannot safely chew and swallow them, consult the doctor or pharmacist for advice. Take this medication at the same time each day. If you are taking this medication for asthma or for both asthma and allergies, take your dose in the evening. If you are taking montelukast to prevent only allergies, take your dose either in the morning or the evening. If you are taking this medication to prevent breathing problems during exercise, take your dose at least 2 hours before exercise. Do not take more than one dose in 24 hours. Do not take a dose before exercise if you are already taking this medication daily for asthma or allergies. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects. Do not increase or decrease your dose or stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Continue to use this medication regularly to keep your asthma under control, even during sudden asthma attacks or periods when you have no asthma symptoms. Continue to also take other medications for asthma as directed by your doctor. This medication works over time and is not meant to relieve sudden attacks of asthma. Therefore, if an asthma attack or other breathing problem occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed. You should always have a quick-relief inhaler with you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Get medical help right away if your asthma symptoms worsen and your quick-relief inhaler is not helping. Tell your doctor promptly if asthma symptoms, breathing problems, allergy symptoms, number of times you use your rescue inhaler persist or worsen.
Montelukast Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/tingling/shooting pain in the arms or legs, sinus pain/swelling, muscle weakness, uncontrolled muscle movements, stuttering. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking montelukast, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, mental/mood problems (such as anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). The chewable tablets may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid aspartame (or phenylalanine) in your diet, ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this medication safely. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Montelukast Drug Interactions
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: thirst, drowsiness, inability to keep still, vomiting, or severe stomach pain.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up. Do not take more than 1 dose in 24 hours.
Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as lung/breathing test) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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