- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: montelukast
Brand Name: Singulair
Drug Class: Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists
What is montelukast, and what is it used for?
Leukotrienes are a group of naturally occurring chemicals in the body that promote inflammation in asthma and seasonal allergic rhinitis and in other diseases in which inflammation is important (such as allergy). They are formed by cells, released, and then bound to other cells that cause inflammation. It is the binding to other cells that stimulates the cells to cause inflammation. Montelukast works in a manner similar to zafirlukast (Accolate), blocking the binding of some leukotrienes to the cells that cause inflammation.
Unlike zafirlukast, montelukast does not inhibit CYP2C9 or CYP3A4, two enzymes in the liver that are important in breaking down and eliminating many drugs. Therefore, unlike zafirlukast, montelukast is not expected to affect the elimination of other drugs.
The safety and effectiveness of montelukast has been demonstrated in children as young as 6 months of age. It was approved by the FDA in 1998.
What are the side effects of montelukast?
The most common side effects of montelukast are:
- abdominal pain,
- sore throat, and
- rhinitis (inflammation of the inner lining of the nose).
Other important side effects include:
What is the dosage for montelukast?
- The recommended dose of montelukast in adults is 10 mg daily for treating asthma and allergic rhinitis and 10 mg two hours before exercising for prevention of exercise induced bronchospasm.
- Montelukast should be taken in the evening with or without food when used for asthma or allergic rhinitis.
- The 4 and 5 mg tablets are used in children.
Which drugs interact with montelukast?
Is montelukast safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Montelukast crosses the placenta into the fetus following oral administration to animals, but there have been no adequate studies in pregnant women to determine the effects on the fetus. Physicians may prescribe zafirlukast during pregnancy if it is felt that its benefits outweigh the potential but unknown risks to the fetus.
Studies in animals have shown that montelukast is excreted in milk; however, it is not known if montelukast is secreted into breast milk in humans.
Montelukast is a drug prescribed for the treatment of asthma and hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). The most common side effects of montelukast are headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, sore throat, and rhinitis (inflammation of the inner lining of the nose). Other important side effects include wheezing, cough, rash, restlessness, tremor, and nausea. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information