Singulair / Montelukast Sodium

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:51 by admin


Singulair  (montelukast sodium) is an allergy drug indicated in the treatment of asthma attacks and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in adult patients suffering from chronic asthma and in children twelve months and older. Singulair was first approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA in 1998. 

Singulair belongs to a group of drugs known as leukotriene inhibitors. Leukotrienes are chemicals in the body that are released when we encounter certain naturally occurring allergens.  The release of leukotrienes in the body can cause airways to become constricted and can cause chest muscles to tighten, and may prompt a number of other unpleasant symptoms in people sensitive to allergens like pollen.

By regular dosing with this medication, patients should be able to avoid the more extreme symptoms associated with allergy and asthma attacks.  Patients using a leukotriene inhibitor must remember that this medication will not work for sudden asthma attacks.  For sudden asthma attacks, patients should rely on fast-acting inhalers and other breathing treatments better suited to instant relief. 

Singulair Advisory Information

Singulair is used for the prevention of asthma and allergy attacks and for chronic treatment of asthma.  This drug should not be administered as a failsafe in case of an asthma attack, because the drug does not have a fast-acting effect like many inhalant medications for asthma available in the market today.  Patients on leukotriene inhibitors such as Singulair should keep fast-acting inhalers and atomizers handy in case of sudden allergic reactions or asthma attacks.

If you take Singulair to mitigate asthma symptoms during exercise, then it is important to take this medication at least two hours before working out.  Singulair is approved for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in patients 15 and older, but patients should always have a fast-acting inhaler available.  Singulair has been known to cause nausea, dyspesia, cough, insomnia, and headaches in a small number of people.

There have been reports that in rare cases Singulair may cause Churg-Strauss Syndrome, a type of vasculitis. Singulair in certain isolated instances has also been associated with complete renal failure

Singulair History

March 2008

The FDA announced it was initiating an ongoing safety review of Singulair over anecdotal reports over the use of this medication and attempted and completed suicides. The FDA had received some reports of suicides, suicidal ideation, and changes in mood in patients on Singulair, and began a safety review on that basis.

February 2008

Merck & Co. updated the drug information sheet to include information on Singulair and symptoms of anxiousness. 


Merck & Co. updated the patient information sheet several times over the course of  2007 to include information on Singulair and other related symptoms.  There were updates for tremor in March 2007, depression in April 2007, and suicidal thinking/behavior in October 2007.


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