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Montelukast

Singulair is the brand name for a medication called Montelukast, which helps to prevent the shortness of breath and wheezing typically caused by asthma. Montelukast or Singulair can reduce your risk and number of asthma attacks either before exercise, during allergy seasons, or in day-to-day life. Montelukast may reduce the number of times you need to use your rescue inhaler.

What is Montelukast?

Montelukast is a prescription drug that comes in the form of a tablet that patients can swallow whole. Montelukast is the name of the active ingredient. Montelukast is also sold under the brand name Singulair. Montelukast belongs to a group of drugs capable of blocking the action of leukotrienes. The leukotrienes in the human body are similar to hormones. When they interact with certain triggers or allergens, they narrow your airways, which makes it more difficult to breathe.

Montelukast tablets reduce the narrowing effect, which helps to eliminate symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath in people who have asthma. In many cases, Montelukast will be used in a combination treatment with other strategies to manage your condition. Importantly, Montelukast doesn't work instantly, which means that it cannot be used as an emergency treatment option for people having an asthma attack or significant breathing problems.

When is Montelukast used?

Montelukast is used to treat the swelling and inflammation of the airways when people have a reaction to the substances in their system that cause an asthma attack. In some cases, Montelukast will be used in respiratory diseases where users are likely to have an allergic reaction. For instance, Montelukast may be used to help with the treatment of hay fever and asthma attacks. Doctors also prescribe Montelukast for allergic rhinitis and other allergies that cause issues with breathing.

Sometimes, Montelukast is intended to help reduce the risk of an attack that would make it difficult to breathe. For instance, your doctor may recommend using Montelukast before you begin exercise, so you can continue to breathe naturally during periods of exertion.

How do you use Montelukast?

It is always important to read the patient information leaflet thoroughly when you are given a new medication. Ensure that you do this before you take Singulair or Montelukast for the first time, and whenever you get a refill. If you have any questions, speak to a pharmacist or doctor. Montelukast is available in both chewable tablet form, and a tablet that you will be required to swallow whole. In both cases, the dosage will be based on your medical circumstances and how you have responded to previous similar treatments. When you first begin using Montelukast, there is a chance that you may experience mood changes as a result, however these side effects should pass. If you are using the standard tablets, then you should swallow it whole with some liquid. It is important not to chew these tablets as it could disrupt their special coating. Ideally, you will need to take Montelukast consistently each day. Singulair or Montelukast needs to be taken regularly to have the best effect. Try taking it at the same time each night before going to bed. If you are taking Montelukast to prevent asthma and breathing problems during exercise, then you will need to take your dose of Montelukast 10mg at least 2 hours before you’re due to exercise. Do not take a dose of Montelukast 10mg before exercise if you have already taken this medication for allergies or asthma, as this could increase your chances of side effects.

Do not decrease or increase your dose of Montelukast or Singulair without speaking to your doctor first. You will need to continue using Montelukast regularly to keep your condition under control. Your doctor may also prescribe a quick release inhaler or another form of treatment to deal with emergency situations when you are experiencing breathlessness caused by asthma or another condition.

What dosages are available?

Montelukast comes in different doses depending on why you’re taking it. Your doctor will prescribe a dose based on what they know about your condition and your medical history. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions, or the directions that are provided within the label that you will find within this medication’s packaging. The amount of Montelukast you will need to take will depends on the number of doses you need to use and the strength of the Montelukast tablet, among other factors. Remember, for the treatment and prevention of asthma, the most common dose is Montelukast 10 mg taken once per day in the evening. Taking your Montelukast tablet at night will help to protect you for the day ahead. For asthma induced by exercise, the same dose of Montelukast 10mg per day may be given, although you will need to take the dose at least 2 hours before exercise instead. Your doctor may adjust your dose over time based on your response to the medication.

If you forget to take a dose of this drug at the correct time, then you will be able to take it immediately as long as it is still the evening before your next day. However, if you have woken up the next day already, skip the dose and continue with your schedule as normal. You should not take an extra dose of Singulair or Montelukast to make up for any missed tablets. If you vomit when using Montelukast asthma tablets, speak to your doctor to find out what to do next.

What are the side effects of Montelukast?

Many people prescribed Singulair or Montelukast tablets will be able to take this medication without suffering from any side effects. However, it is possible to experience negative reactions to this drug. If you notice any side effects that worry you, contact a doctor or pharmacist for advice. If you believe that your life may be at risk due to severe issues with breathing or a possible allergic reaction, seek emergency attention as quickly as possible. An allergic reaction pay present with a rash or itching and may also include dizziness and trouble breathing. Pay close attention to the signs of any swelling in the face, throat, or tongue.

Side effects reported with Montelukast tablets include infections in the nasal and throat area. These might make your throat sore or make it difficult for you to breathe normally. You may also experience gastrointestinal complaints like vomiting and diarrhoea. Some patients experience drowsiness or dizziness after taking Montelukast tablets. Seek emergency attention or speak to your doctor immediately if you notice any serious mental or mood changes, like problems with anxiety, aggression, or memory problems. Montelukast can cause depression, hallucinations, and abnormal dreams or trouble sleeping. Make sure that you seek help if you have any thoughts of harming yourself.

Other serious side effects may include pain or swelling in the sinuses, uncontrollable muscle movements, muscle weakness, shooting paints in your legs and arms, or feelings of numbness throughout your extremities.

When shouldn't you use Montelukast?

Montelukast tablets will not be the right treatment option for everyone. You will need to discuss your medical history and current condition with your doctor carefully before using this substance. Before you begin taking Montelukast, make sure you tell your doctor if you have any allergies that may increase your chances of a reaction. It is particularly important to ensure that your doctor is aware of any history you have of liver problems or liver disease when taking Montelukast tablets. Additionally, before you have surgery, make sure that you tell your doctor that you are using this product. During pregnancy, Montelukast tablets should only be used when absolutely necessary. Montelukast can pass into breast milk, so speak to your doctor before nursing with Montelukast. Montelukast chewable tablets can contain aspartame. If you have conditions that require you to avoid this substance, ask to switch to the alternative medication.

Does Montelukast interact with any other medications?

Some medications can interact negatively and increase your risk of dangerous side effects. For that reason, it’s crucial to make sure that your doctor is aware of all the substances that you are taking at the same time as Montelukast or Singulair. This includes any medications that may be over-the-counter, or herbal and supplemental drugs.

Taking Montelukast with substances like Pixantrone and Dasabuvir and some epileptic medication is not recommended, however your doctor may consider prescribing both at the same time in some cases. In these situations, your doctor might adjust the dose of each of your medications or watch you carefully to ensure that your risk of side effects is kept to a minimum. Taking Montelukast with Gemfibrozil and Prednisone can lead to a higher than usual risk of side effects. If using both drugs at the same time is the right strategy for you, then your doctor might decide to change the dose, or make alterations to how often you need to use the medications.

Where can you buy Montelukast?

Montelukast tablets are generally available from most online and offline pharmacies. If you already have a prescription for this Montelukast, we can arrange for the treatment to be available for you to collect at a local EU pharmacy. Alternatively, if you need a consultation, we can arrange one for you with a registered doctor.

Can you get Montleukast without a prescription?

Montelukast tablets are not available without a prescription. A medical professional will need to determine whether this Montelukast is safe for you by checking your medical background and looking at any other medications you may be taking. If Montelukast is not suitable, your doctor will usually suggest an alternative.

References

Daniel More, MD, May 2019, Online, The use of singulair for allergies, [Accessed on the 10th of August 2019], Available on: https://www.verywellhealth.com/does-singulair-differ-from-antihistamine-for-allergies-82878

EMedicine Health, online, 2019, Drug montelukast, [Accessed on the 10th of August 2019], Available on: https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-montelukast/article_em.htm

IBM Watson Health, Mayo Clinic, Feb 2019, Online, Montelukast oral route, [Accessed on the 10th of August 2019], Available on: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/montelukast-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20064902?p=1

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