Singulair

Generic Name: Montelukast

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Singulair is a medicine used for the prevention of asthma attacks and for long-term treatment of asthma. It is also used to prevent breathing problems during exercise and to control nasal symptoms (such as sneezing, or stuffy, runny, and itchy nose) due to seasonal or year-round allergies. Singulair is available as chewable tablets, oral granules, and tablets.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Singulair works by blocking the action of substances in the body that cause symptoms of asthma and allergies.

    This medicine is not used for immediate treatment of a sudden asthma attack. Always follow the instructions your healthcare provider gave you for treating an asthma attack.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Asthma: Studies show that fewer people experience an asthma attack while taking Singulair, compared to people who are not receiving treatment. Singulair may also reduce the need for a rescue inhaler.

    Exercise-Induced Breathing Problems: Singulair may help you breathe better while exercising.

    Seasonal and Year-Round Allergies: Singulair is shown to reduce allergy symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, itching, and sneezing.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Singulair exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your breathing and allergy symptoms once you begin using Singular. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may perform tests to check your lung function and ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, abdominal (stomach area) pain, diarrhea, earache or ear infection, flu, runny nose, sinus pain or congestion.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Behavior and mood-related changes, such as aggressive behavior, hostility, attention problems, bad or vivid dreams, depression, confusion, feeling anxious, hallucinations, irritability, memory problems, restlessness, sleepwalking, suicidal thoughts and actions, shaking, or trouble sleeping.

    Increased white blood cell counts and inflamed blood vessels with symptoms such as a feeling of pins and needles or numbness in your arms or legs, flu-like symptoms, rash, or pain and swelling of your sinuses.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Singulair if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Singulair. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you are allergic to aspirin; have a condition called phenylketonuria (an inability to process phenylalanine, a protein in your body); or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Asthma and Treatment of Seasonal or Year-Round Allergy Symptoms

    Adults and adolescents ≥15 years: The recommended dose is one 10-milligram (mg) tablet once a day.

    Children 6-14 years: The recommended dose is one 5-mg chewable tablet once a day.

    Children 2-5 years: The recommended dose is one 4-mg chewable tablet or one packet of 4-mg oral granules once a day.

    Children 6-23 months: The recommended dose is one packet of 4-mg oral granules once a day.

    Exercise-Induced Breathing Problems

    Adults and children ≥15 years: The recommended dose is one 10-mg tablet at least 2 hours before exercise.

    Children 6-14 years: The recommended dose is one 5-mg chewable tablet at least 2 hours before exercise.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Singulair exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Singulair without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Singulair with or without food.

    If you take Singulair for asthma, take your dose in the evening.

    If you take Singulair every day for asthma or allergies, do not take an additional dose before you exercise.

    Administration of Oral Granules

    Give Singular oral granules to your child exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not open the packet until ready to use.

    Dissolve the granules in 1 teaspoonful (5 milliliters) of cold or room temperature baby formula or breast milk; or mix with 1 spoonful of one of the following soft foods served cold or at room temperature: applesauce, mashed carrots, rice, or ice cream. Do not mix Singulair oral granules with any liquid drink other than baby formula or breast milk.

    Give your child all of the mixture right away into his/her mouth. Do not store any of the mixture for later use.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    If you have asthma and aspirin makes your asthma symptoms worse, do not take aspirin or other medicines called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) while taking Singulair.

    Do not take Singulair if you need relief right away for a sudden asthma attack.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Singulair at this time. However, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Singulair during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Singulair, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture and light.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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