Common brand names:
Montelukast is used regularly to prevent the wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma and decrease the number of asthma attacks. Montelukast is also used before exercise to prevent breathing problems during exercise (bronchospasm). This medication can help decrease the number of times you need to use your rescue inhaler. This medication is also used to relieve symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis (such as sneezing, stuffy/runny/itchy nose).
This medication does not work right away and should not be used to treat sudden asthma attacks or other breathing problems.
This drug works by blocking certain natural substances (leukotrienes) that may cause or worsen asthma and allergies. It helps make breathing easier by reducing swelling (inflammation) in the airways.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking montelukast and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are using the chewable tablets, chew them thoroughly before swallowing. If your child cannot safely chew and swallow them, consult the doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Take this medication at the same time each day. If you are taking this medication for asthma or for both asthma and allergies, take your dose in the evening. If you are taking montelukast to prevent only allergies, take your dose either in the morning or the evening.
If you are taking this medication to prevent breathing problems during exercise, take your dose at least 2 hours before exercise. Do not take more than one dose in 24 hours. Do not take a dose before exercise if you are already taking this medication daily for asthma or allergies. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects.
Do not increase or decrease your dose or stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Continue to use this medication regularly to keep your asthma under control, even during sudden asthma attacks or periods when you have no asthma symptoms. Continue to also take other medications for asthma as directed by your doctor. This medication works over time and is not meant to relieve sudden attacks of asthma. Therefore, if an asthma attack or other breathing problem occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed. You should always have a quick-relief inhaler with you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Get medical help right away if your asthma symptoms worsen and your quick-relief inhaler is not helping. Tell your doctor promptly if asthma symptoms, breathing problems, allergy symptoms, number of times you use your rescue inhaler persist or worsen.
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Information expires June 2016.