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    Information about Montelukast

    Montelukast uses

    Montelukast is used in asthma prevention and sneezing and runny nose due to allergies.

    How montelukast works

    Montelukast works by blocking the action of leukotriene, a chemical messenger. This reduces inflammation in the airways to prevent asthma and relieve symptoms of allergies.

    Common side effects of montelukast

    Diarrhea, Flu-like symptoms, Nausea, Headache, Abdominal cramp, Vomiting
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Sakshi Sharma
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    03 Jan 2020 | 05:01 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Montelukast

    • You have been prescribed Montelukast for asthma prevention and for the treatment of allergy symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.
    • It is a relatively safe medicine with very few side effects.
    • Take Montelukast 2 hours before exercising if you have exercise-induced asthma.
    • It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems. Use your rescue inhaler to control sudden difficulty in breathing.
    • Do not discontinue use without consulting your doctor, even if you feel better.

    Frequently asked questions for Montelukast


    Q. Why do you have to take Montelukast at night?

    Usually, it is recommended to take Montelukast in the evening when it is being used for asthma and allergic rhinitis (cough and cold due to allergy). However, the exact reason for this is not yet known. Some studies have shown that there is no difference in effectiveness whether Montelukast is taken in the evening or morning. Hence, take the medicine as directed by your doctor.

    Q. Is Montelukast a steroid?

    No, Montelukast is not a steroid. It is a leukotriene blocker. Leukotrienes are natural substances released during an allergic reaction which causes constriction of muscles of airway. It can also cause allergy symptoms. This medicine blocks leukotrienes which helps in relieving symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitis.

    Q. Does Montelukast make you drowsy?

    An uncommon side effect of Montelukast is drowsiness. It can also cause dizziness. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how the medicine affects you. Consult your doctor if you experience these side effects.

    Q. Can I drink alcohol while taking Montelukast?

    Consumption of alcohol should be restricted while taking Montelukast as it may cause dizziness and drowsiness as a side effect. Also, liver disorders caused as side effect of Montelukast may occur more commonly with use of alcohol.

    Q. Can Montelukast cause mood changes?

    Yes, although uncommonly but Montelukast may cause mood changes. The symptoms of mood change include anxiety, agitation, aggressive behaviour or hostility, irritability, and restlessness. One may also experience depression and suicidal tendency. Consult your doctor immediately in case you develop any of these symptoms.

    Q. Can Montelukast cause weird dreams?

    Yes, in rare cases Montelukast may cause night mares, sleeplessness, and sleep walking. You should contact your doctor if these symptoms persist.

    Q. How should Montelukast be taken?

    Montelukast should be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. The medicine should be used preferably in the evening with or without food when being used for asthma. Whereas, for allergic rhinitis, it can be taken at any time of the day but at the same time each day. But, if you are taking it to avoid breathing difficulties during exercise, it should be taken 2 hours before exercise.

    Q. How should Montelukast granules be given to children?

    It can be directly given in the mouth or dissolve in 1 teaspoonful of cold or room temperature baby formula or breast milk. It can also be used with 1 spoonful of mashed carrots, applesauce, rice, or ice-cream. Remember to give the mixture within 15 minutes of making it.

    Content on this page was last updated on 03 January, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)