Singulair is a drug that uses montelukast as the main ingredient. It is a leukotriene inhibitor. These are chemicals released by the human body when an allergen is inhaled.
The chemical can lead to swelling in the lungs, which causes the breathing difficulty you experience during an allergic reaction. This is very similar to the symptoms caused by asthma.
It is used in the prevention of asthma in adults and children who are older than a year. It is also used in the treatment of bronchospasm caused by exercise.
Another use for Singulair is the treatment of allergies in both adults and young children. These can be either year round or seasonal.
Singulair can also be used in the treatment of bronchoconstriction, which is the constriction of the airways in the lungs.
When used for this purpose, the drug should only be used by adults and teenagers (at least 15 years old).
Do not use extra Singulair to treat bronchoconstriction if you are already using the medication to treat asthma and allergies.
Remember that this medication doesn’t act fast enough to alleviate the symptoms of an asthma attack that is already taking place.
For asthma attacks already happening, take a faster inhalation medication like Ventolin or Proventil, because Singulair is good for prevention, not immediate treatment.
If you feel like your medication isn’t working nearly as well as it used to, tell your doctor immediately. It is possible that your dosage needs to be increased.
Remember never to take Singulair for your asthma or allergies if you are already using it to prevent bronchoconstriction caused by exercise (and vice versa).
If you experience symptoms like anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, mood swings and behavioral changes, call your doctor immediately.
Keep using Singulair for at least a few weeks, as it may take that long for your symptoms to show signs of improving.
Do not use this medication if you have allergies to montelukast, or if you have a personal/family history of asthma, allergies to aspirin and other allergic reactions to different factors.
The chewable version of the Singulair pill may contain phenylalanine as the main ingredient. If you have phenylketonuria, tell your doctor before using this variant.
Singulair is not supposed to have a harmful effect on unborn children, and should be safe for pregnant women to use. However, you should tell your doctor anyway.
The tendency of this medicine to pass into a newborn child through breastfeeding is currently unknown. To be on the safe side, tell your doctor if you are nursing.
Singulair needs to be taken exactly as it has been prescribed to you. Do not deviate from your prescription in any way.
Do not take Singulair in larger or smaller doses than you have been told to. The standard dosage for preventing the symptoms of asthma and allergies is once daily (usually in the evening).
If you are using it to prevent bronchoconstriction caused by exercise, the dose needs to be taken at least 2 hours prior to exercise.
Do not take more than one dose every day. Follow your doctor’s advice as closely as possible.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is an emergency rescue medication. It will not work quickly enough to stop asthma attacks.
Drink the normal tablet down with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew or break it. If you are taking the chewable version, chew it before swallowing it.
There is a variant with granules. These can be taken orally, either on their own or mixed in with a soft food or a teaspoon of breast milk.
Do not use other liquids to mix the oral granules in. These can be drunk after or before the medication is taken, just not during.
When using the granules, make sure you take them within 15 minutes of opening the packet.
Missed doses and overdose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you know you have. If you are about to take the next dose, ignore the one you missed. Do not take extra to make up for it.
If you experience the symptoms of an overdose, call your local poison helpline immediately. Also contact emergency medical services.
Common side effects include:
Loss of bladder control
More severe side effects include:
Severe skin reaction
Call your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects.
Stop using this medication immediately if you have an allergic reaction.
Do not use with aspirin, NSAIDs, painkillers, antidepressants, and herbal treatments.