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Does Singulair Help With Allergies

Important: How To Use This Information

Singulair (2006)

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

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Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use Singulair if you are allergic to montelukast.

To make sure Singulair is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • mental illness or psychosis or

  • asthma, or a history of severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or another NSAID.

The chewable tablet may contain phenylalanine and could be harmful if you have phenylketonuria .

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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

What Is Montelukast And How Can It Help Me

Montelukast is FDA-approved for asthma and allergies. It is a prescription medicine approved to prevent asthma attacks and for long-term treatment of asthma in adults and children 1 year and older. It is also approved to prevent exercise-induced asthma in patients 6 years and older. In addition, it is approved to help control the nasal symptoms of seasonal outdoor allergies in patients 2 years and older and year-round indoor allergies in those 6 months and older. Montelukast works to help improve symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitis by blocking substances in the body that may cause them. Montelukast was first approved by FDA in 1998. It is marketed under the brand name Singulair and as generics.

Patients and parents/caregivers should stop montelukast and discuss with a health care professional right away if you or your child experience behavior or mood-related changes while taking the medicine. These may include:

  • agitation, including aggressive behavior or hostility
  • attention problems
  • uncontrolled muscle movements

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General Information About The Safe And Effective Use Of Singulair

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those mentioned in Patient Information Leaflets. Do not use Singulair for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Singulair to other people even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. Keep Singulair and all medicines out of the reach of children.

This guide summarizes information about Singulair. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about Singulair that is written for health professionals. For more information, call the Merck National Service Center at 1-800-NSC-Merck .

What Are The Side Effects Of Singulair

FDA Issues Boxed Warning for Allergy Drug Singulair

With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Neuropsychiatric events

The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.

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Tips For Taking Singulair And Preventing Side Effects

Keep in mind that not everyone will experience side effects, and if you do, they will most likely be mild. Here are a few ways you can take Singulair safely in order to reduce your risk of side effects.

1) Follow your doctors prescription instructions closely

Do not increase or decrease your dose without your doctors go-ahead. By lowering a dose, you risk not getting enough medication to treat your condition. But raising the dose too high can increase your chances of side effects. Also, dont take Singulair without a doctors prescription.

2) Take Singulair at the same time each day

Taking your medication at the same time every day, usually at night, helps keep levels of Singulair in your body consistent. Consistent drug levels help keep the drug working the way it should.

If you take Singulair for exercise-induced asthma, be sure to take it 2 hours before exercise. Taking it too early or too late could mean that the medication wont offer enough protection by the time youre ready for physical activity.

3) Do not double-up if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your Singulair, its usually okay to take it when you remember. But if youre within 4 to 5 hours of your next dose, just skip the one you forgot. Dont double-up on your Singulair dose.

4) Let your doctor know of other medications youre taking to avoid drug interactions

5) Tell your doctor right away if you start to notice behavior or mood-related effects

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Singulairs Dangerous Side Effects: Allergy Medicine Can Cause Depression And Suicides

Arizonas Family Investigates exposes the manufacturer had evidence decades ago before Singulair went on the market that it affected the brain

PHOENIX — She could feel the stares. Kammy Pany would have been embarrassed, but she was consumed with concern as she held down her 7-year-old, trying to stop him from hurting himself or someone else. Tysons explosive temper was why Kammy accompanied him on a field trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Tempe, Arizona.

As Kammy held Tyson down, she had no idea the little pill she was giving him daily, prescribed by his doctor, could be causing her sons mental and emotional problems. Nearly three years later, Tyson sits calmly on the back patio at the familys Arizona home. He lets out an embarrassed little laugh when asked if he remembers what happened to him. You mean when I lost my mind? he asks with a little giggle.

Tyson is now a sweet, well-mannered kid. Much closer to the same child Kammy says he was before a prescription for Singulair to treat his allergies and asthma threw the familys life into chaos. Montelukast is the generic form of Singulair. For families like Tysons, Singulair may trigger a journey of confusion, concern, and turmoil. For others, it ends in death. Suicidal thoughts and actions are one of the known side effects families say they didnt find out about until after their loved ones killed themselves.

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How Effective Is Singulair For Allergies

Singulair has been prescribed for many years as treatment for allergies and asthma, so it has a long track record of safety and efficacy.

One 2011 review of studies found that montelukast has positive outcomes in the treatment of adult asthma, particularly exercise-induced asthma and asthma associated with allergic rhinitis , smoking, obesity, and viral illnesses. Meanwhile, a 2014 study suggests that montelukast is beneficial when used alone or in conjunction with other therapies for the treatment of mild to moderate childhood asthma.

Still, its important to know under what circumstances Singulair tends to be the most effective. It seems to work pretty well as an add-on therapy for more moderate and severe asthma, or if you have allergies and asthma, explains Dr. Franzese. If you have just allergies but no asthma, its not as effective as other medications like nasal steroids and antihistamine pills.

In other words, if youre trying to exclusively treat allergies, Singulair isnt commonly prescribed on its own. However, if you are treating both allergies and asthma or need an additional medication to manage your asthma , Singulair can be an effective standalone drug or one used in combination with other therapies. For my patients who take Singulair, the majority find it to be very helpful, says Dr. Dass.

What Are The Risks

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Any person can report problems arising from the use of a medication or medical device to the FDA. These side effects or complications are called adverse events. Adverse events can be reported using FDAs MedWatch program through thiswebsite. Of the over 19,000 reports of adverse events that FDA has received since the drugs approval in 1998, more than 10,000 of those reports have been about psychiatric or nervous system adverse events. They included aggression, irritability, agitation, disorientation, attention disturbances, stuttering, hallucinations, insomnia, memory impairment, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and even suicide. More than 7,000 of those adverse events are considered serious, and they occurred almost equally in adults and children.2 From 1998 to 2019, FDA received reports of 82 suicides among people using Singulair. Only 64 reports of suicides included the patients age, but 19 of those were in patients ages 16 and younger. Most of the patients who committed suicide had no history of mental illness.2

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Side Effects Off Singulair

Overall, Singular is a safe medicine, but side effects may occur.

Some common negative effects are:

  • Skin rash
  • Flu-like symptoms

Talk to your doctor if you take Singulair and experience any symptoms that worry you.

A rare side effect of Singulair is a severe allergic reaction to the drug. If you start to feel swelling in your throat or have difficulty breathing, get medical treatment right away.

Additional Information For Patients And Parents/caregivers

  • FDA is requiring a Boxed Warning stating that serious mental health side effects that may include suicidal thoughts or actions have been reported in patients taking the asthma and allergy medicine montelukast .
  • Most reported cases occurred during montelukast treatment, but some occurred after stopping the medicine. In many cases, symptoms resolved after stopping montelukast however, in some cases symptoms continued after stopping.
  • Serious mental health side effects have occurred in patients with and without a history of mental illness.
  • Talk with your health care professional about the benefits and risks of montelukast, as many other safe and effective allergy medicines are widely available, including over-the-counter ones, without a prescription. These include antihistamines such as loratadine , fexofenadine , cetirizine , levocetirizine , and diphenhydramine , as well as steroid nasal sprays such as fluticasone , triamcinolone , and budesonide . Alternatively, allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, has been shown to decrease symptoms of allergic rhinitis. A pharmacist or other health care professional can help you decide which might be best.
  • Stop taking montelukast and notify a health care professional right away if you or your child experience behavior or mood-related changes while taking the medicine. These may include:
  • agitation, including aggressive behavior or hostility
  • attention problems

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Support For The Stronger Warning

The boxed warning is a step that the Allergy and Asthma Network has been pushing for.

AAN was the only national patient organization to advocate for this black box warning, Tonya Winders, president and chief executive officer of AAN, told Healthline. We have reports of thousands of families impacted by the neuropsychiatric side effects of Singulair/montelukast.

Winders noted that figure accounts for fewer than 10 percent of the total number of people whove taken the medication, but it is important to recognize the warning signs and talk with your doctor about alternative treatments.

For people with hay fever, Winders suggests that allergen immunotherapy, avoidance and other prescription or over-the-counter medications also may help.

Alternative treatments to treat hay fever could include antihistamines, eye drops, or just being aware of whats causing the allergies and trying to avoid triggers. That could include closing windows and washing hands more frequently.

Other allergy drugs come with their own potential side effects.

First-generation antihistamines such as Benadryl can cause drowsiness as well as headaches and dizziness. In the most serious cases, they can cause vision or urination problems.

Second- and third-generation antihistamines such as Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec reportedly have less potential for side effects, although drowsiness and headaches can still occur.

Singulair works a bit differently than drugs such as antihistamines.

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Report Problems To The Food And Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Who Should Not Take Singulair

Singulair has been studied with use in many populations, and seems to be safe for most children and adults. That said, some people should avoid taking Singulair, such as:

  • People with a history of neuropsychiatric events
  • People with PKU, or phenylketonuria

Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, should consult their healthcare provider before taking Singulair.

Before taking Singulair, be sure to discuss all medications and vitamins or supplements youre taking with your pharmacist.

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What Do We Know About Singulair And Mental Health Side Effects

Just recently, the FDA announced that Singulair and generic montelukast would now come with a boxed warning. A boxed warning sometimes called a black box warning is the FDAs strongest type of warning on a drug label and is created when a drug has a potentially serious or life-threatening risk.

Singulairs new boxed warning is about the risk of mental health side effects specifically, behavior and mood-related changes. FDA lists examples of these changes such as:

  • Agitation, aggression, or hostility

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide

These side effects could happen while taking Singulair or after stopping, but overall are not very common. If you or your child notice any of these side effects, FDA recommends stopping the medication and telling your doctor right away.

What Is Montelukast Used For Allergies

SINGULAIR AND YOUR CHILD

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. Consequently, how does montelukast help with allergies?

Leukotriene Modifiers – SingulairMontelukast is a drug that relieves allergy symptoms and is also used to prevent asthma attacks. It reduces congestion in your nose and also cuts down on sneezing, itching, and eye allergies. For people with allergies and asthma, it helps reduce inflamation in your airways.

Similarly, is Montelukast an antihistamine? Unlike other medications used to treat allergic rhinitis , Singulair is not an antihistamine. Rather, Singulair blocks another mediator of inflammation, called leukotrienes.

Considering this, why do you have to take montelukast at night?

Montelukast is usually taken once daily in the evening for prevention of asthma or allergy symptoms. For exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, take a single dose at least 2 hours before you exercise, and do not take another dose for at least 24 hours.

How does montelukast work?

Montelukast belongs to a group of medications known as leukotriene receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the effects of leukotrienes, a substance produced by the body in response to certain “triggers” that cause narrowing and swelling of airways in the lungs. Montelukast usually starts to work within one day.

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What To Know Before Using Singulair

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, throat, and inner ear
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Cough

Allergic rhinitis can also affect other dimensions of your life. Research shows that allergic rhinitis negatively impacts:

  • Sleep
  • Concentration
  • Productivity at school or work

You can control allergic rhinitis by avoiding allergens or taking medicine. If you choose to take medicine, doctors often recommend a step-up approach. That means that you’ll start with less powerful medicine with a low risk of side effects. If that doesn’t work or symptoms get worse, your doctor might prescribe a different medicine.

Here’s an example of treatments that your doctor might recommend:

If you’ve tried other treatments for allergic rhinitis and they don’t work, your doctor might prescribe Singulair. But it’s usually not the first-line treatment. That’s because it might cause mental health side effects in some people, including suicidal thoughts and actions.

Due to these side effects, the FDA usually recommends using Singulair for allergic rhinitis only if other treatments don’t work. That said, some people respond well to Singulair, and it may be the most effective treatment for their allergies or asthma.

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Does Singulair Help With Food Allergies

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Singulair Black Box Warning

Buy Singulair  Montelukast Sodium Information

On March 4, 2020 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration decided to add a Boxed Warning to the oral medication montelukast due to an elevated concern regarding the risk of neuropsychiatric events, including suicidal thoughts and actions. Because of this new warning, the FDA is now recommending that montelukast only be used to treat patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma that do not tolerate or do not respond to alternative medications.

Montelukast is a leukotriene receptor antagonist that has been used to treat patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis and other conditions such as chronic urticaria since the drug was approved in the U.S. in 1998. There were no major reported safety concerns with this drug until 2007, when the manufacturer of Singulair updated the prescribing information and patient information to include post-marketing adverse events such as behavior/mood changes and suicidality .

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