What are montelukast tablets or chewable tablets?
MONTELUKAST (Singulair®) helps to reduce asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness) and control your asthma. It does not provide instant relief and cannot be used to treat a sudden asthma attack. It works only when used on a regular basis to help reduce inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. Montelukast is effective in adults and children. This drug is also helpful in improving seasonal allergies, like hay fever. Generic montelukast tablets or chewable tablets are not yet available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• an acute asthma attack
• are on corticosteroid therapy, like prednisone or inhalers
• liver disease, like hepatitis
• an unusual or allergic reaction to montelukast, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take montelukast by mouth. You may take your tablets with food. Take montelukast every day at roughly the same time, even on days when you are not having asthma or allergy symptoms. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Chewable tablets: If you are taking the chewable tablets, chew them well before swallowing with water. You may take your tablets with food. Take montelukast every day at roughly the same time, even on days when you are not having asthma or allergy symptoms. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Montelukast chewable tablets are normally prescribed in children 2 years of age or older.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the previous dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with montelukast?
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from using montelukast?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Rare or uncommon:
• a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of arms and legs
• dark brown or yellow urine
• easy bruising or bleeding
• edema or swelling of the legs or ankles
• fatigue or weakness
• flu-like illness
• muscle aches or cramps
• seizure or convulsion
• skin rash and itching
• severe stomach pain
• swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat, which may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing
• wheezing or continued coughing
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• difficulty sleeping
• hoarseness or sore throat
• indigestion or stomach upset
• muscle aches or cramps
• runny nose
• unusual dreams
What should I watch for while taking montelukast?
Montelukast is only used to help prevent asthma attacks; it is not used as a "quick-relief" medicine to treat an asthma attack. Therefore, you should always have your "quick-relief" medicine with you to treat an asthma attack. Talk with your prescriber about what you should do if you have an acute asthma attack.
Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if your asthma gets worse. If you find that your medicines become less effective in treating your asthma, you should contact your health care professional as soon as possible.
Do not to stop taking or decrease the use of your other asthma treatments, including steroids, when starting montelukast unless otherwise directed by their health care prescriber. Follow your prescriber's directions exactly.
Montelukast works best if you use it regularly even when you do not have asthma symptoms. Do not stop using your medication without your prescriber's advice.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your health care professional that you take montelukast.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.