What is montelukast?

Montelukast is a leukotriene (loo-koe-TRY-een) inhibitor. Leukotrienes are chemicals your body releases when you breathe in an allergen (such as pollen). These chemicals cause swelling in your lungs and tightening of the muscles around your airways, which can result in asthma symptoms.

Montelukast is used to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children as young as 12 months old. It is also used to relieve runny nose and sneezing caused by allergies in adults and children as young as 6 months old.

Do not give this medication to a child without a doctor’s advice.

Montelukast is also used to prevent exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (narrowing of the air passages in the lungs) in people who are not already taking this medicine for other conditions.

If you already take this medication to prevent asthma or allergy symptoms, do not use it for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

Montelukast may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to montelukast.

Before using montelukast, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially aspirin). You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.

The chewable tablet form of this medication may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of montelukast if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether montelukast passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid situations or activities that may trigger an asthma attack.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a montelukast overdose are not known.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, or thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself;
  • tremors or shaking;
  • severe sinus pain, swelling, or irritation; or
  • worsening asthma symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • stomach pain, heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea;
  • tooth pain;
  • tired feeling;
  • fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, hoarseness; or
  • mild rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before using montelukast, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with montelukast. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Singulair and montelukast

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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