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By Medicover Hospitals / 05 April 2022
Home | Medicine | Montelukast

What is Montelukast?

  • Montelukast, sold under the brand name Singulair, among others, is a medicine used in the treatment of asthma. It is generally less preferred for this use than for inhaled corticosteroids. It is not useful in acute asthma attacks. Other uses include allergic rhinitis and long-term hives.
    1. Montelukast Uses
    2. Montelukast Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Interactions
    5. Overdose
    6. Montelukast Vs Levocetirizine
    7. Frequently Asked Questions
    8. Citations

    Montelukast Uses:

  • Montelukast is used for controlling and preventing the symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and shortness of breath. It is also used to prevent breathing problems during exercise before exercise (bronchospasm). This medicine can help reduce the number of times you need to use your quick-relief inhaler. Montelukast is also used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis (e.g. sneezing, stuffy/runny/itchy nose). Since there are other allergy drugs that may be safer (see also Warning section), this medicine should only be used for this condition if you cannot take other allergy drugs or if they do not work well. This medicine must be used on a regular basis to be effective.
  • It does not work immediately and should not be used to relieve sudden asthma attacks or breathing problems. If an asthma attack or sudden shortness of breath occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as directed. This drug works by blocking certain natural substances (leukotrienes) which may cause or worsen asthma and allergies. It helps to make breathing easier by reducing swelling (inflammation) in the airways.
  • How to use?

    • Read your pharmacist's Medication Guide before you start taking montelukast and every time you get a refill.
    • Take this medicine orally with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dose is based on your age and medical condition.
    • If you use chewable tablets, chew them thoroughly before swallowing. If your child cannot chew and swallow safely, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
    • Take this medicine at a fixed time daily. If you are taking this medicine for asthma or both asthma and allergies, take your dose in the evening. If you are taking montelukast for preventing allergies, take your doses either in the evening or in the morning.
    • If you are taking this medicine to prevent breathing problems during exercise, take your dose at least 2 hours before exercise. Don’t take more than 1 dose within 24 hours. Do not take a dose before exercise if you are already taking this medicine daily for asthma or allergies. This may increase the risk of side effects.
    • Do not increase or decrease your dose or stop using this medicine without consulting your doctor. Continue to use this medicine regularly to keep your asthma under control, even during sudden asthma attacks or periods when you have no symptoms of asthma. Continue to take other asthma medications as directed by your doctor. This medicine works over time.
    • This medicine works over time and is not intended to relieve sudden asthma attacks. Therefore, if you have an asthma attack or other breathing problems, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed. You should always be accompanied by a quick-relief inhaler.
    • Get medical help right away if your symptoms of asthma worsen and your quick-relief inhaler doesn't help. Tell your doctor immediately if symptoms of asthma, breathing problems, allergy symptoms, the number of times you use a rescue inhaler persists or worsens.

    Montelukast Side effects:

    • Body aches or pain
    • Cough
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Dryness or soreness of the throat
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Loss of voice
    • Pain, redness, or swelling in the ear
    • Stomach pain
    • Stuffy or runny nose
    • Tender, swollen glands in the neck
    • Trouble in swallowing
    • Unusual tiredness or weakness
    • Voice changes
    • Bloody nose
    • A general feeling of discomfort or illness
    • Joint pain
    • Sweating
    • Rare
    • Pus in the urine
    • Incidence not known
    • Agitation
    • Anxiety
    • Attempts at killing oneself
    • Breathing problems
    • Confusion about identity, place, and time
    • Constipation
    • Fast, irregular heartbeat or pulse
    • Feeling sad or empty
    • Hives or welts
    • Indigestion
    • Lack of appetite
    • Pain in the stomach, or abdomen
    • Redness of the skin
    • Trembling of the hands
    • Trouble with concentrating
    • Unable to sleep
    • Unpleasant breath odour
    • Vomiting of blood
    • Yellow eyes or skin


    • Before taking montelukast, tell your doctor whether you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may have some inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or other problems.
    • Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history before using this medicine, in particular: liver disease, mental or emotional problems (such as anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide).
    • Aspartame may be present in chewable tablets. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to reduce or prevent aspartame (or phenylalanine) in your diet, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the safe use of this medicine.
    • This medicine should only be used during pregnancy when truly needed. Consult a doctor about the benefits and risks.


  • Drug interactions may change the way your medications work or rise your life-threatening side effects. Keep a list of all the products you use and communicate them with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine without your doctor's approval.
  • Overdose:

  • If someone has taken too much of this medicine and shows some serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call a poison control center immediately. Symptoms of overdose can include drowsiness, thirst, inability to keep still, vomiting, or severe stomach pain.
  • Notes:

  • Do not share this medication with others.
  • Laboratory and medical tests (such as lung or breathing tests) should be performed regularly to monitor your progress or to check for side effects.
  • Missed dose:

  • If you forget to take any dose, skip the forgotten dose. Take your next dose at the regular time period. Do not take 2 doses to catch up. More than 1 dose should not be taken in 24 hours.
  • Montelukast Vs Levocetirizine:

    Formula: C35H36ClNO3S Formula: C21H25ClN2O3
    Brand name Singulair Brand name Xyzal
    Molar mass: 586.184 g/mol Molar mass: 388.888 g/mol
    Montelukast is a medication used in the maintenance treatment of asthma. Levocetirizine is an antihistamine used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and long-term hives.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    A doctor prescribes montelukast for treating & preventing asthma. It prevents the symptoms of asthma from getting worse like wheezing and breathlessness.
    No, Montelukast is not considered a steroid.
    People have often reported to feel drowsy after taking Montelukast, so avoid driving while you experience these side effects.
    Montelukast helps in preventing air blockage caused due to inflammation, which helps prevent asthma attacks at night. So, it is advised to take at night.
    Montelukast should be taken during pregnancy only if your doctor prescribes it.
    Yes, Montelukast is safe for breastfeeding women as there are no reported side effects among infants.
    Yes, it is safe to drive after consuming montelukast, but if you feel dizzy, avoid driving by yourself.
    No, montelukast should not be consumed with alcohol because it can lead to liver damage.
    The effect of montelukast usually lasts for an average of 24 hours.
    Montelukast is a safe FDA approved drug prescribed for treating allergies & asthma.
    Some of the side effects of montelukast are:
  • Body aches or pain
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of voice
  • Pain around the eyes and cheekbones
  • Pain, redness, or swelling in the ear
  • Stomach pain
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • No, Montelukast is not a habit-forming drug.
    The cost of Montelukast varies between Rs 150 to 200 INR.
    You should take Montelukast as long as your doctor recommends it to you.
    Yes, although it is very uncommon, montelukast may cause mood swings.


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  • Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.