Montelukast (as Sodium)
Montelukast, marketed in the UK by Accord, is a preventer tablet for asthma, and is the generic version of the medicine known as Singulair.
Please note you cannot buy Montelukast from our UK pharmacy.
Montelukast, from Accord, is an asthma medicine called a leukotriene receptor antagonist. It prevents the lungs from reacting to the natural compound leukotriene when they become aggravated by the triggers which can cause asthma symptoms. It is also used for the treatment of hay fever in asthmatics, and asthma attacks induced by exercise.
- Used in addition to other asthma medications
- Tablet taken once a day
- Generic version of commonly prescribed treatment
Asthma is much more common than many people think, affecting over 5 million people in the UK. It is a long term respiratory disease where the airways of the lungs (bronchi) become inflamed due to certain outside factors, or triggers. When the bronchi come into contact with these triggers, they become narrow as the muscles around them contract and the lining of the airways swell. The airways are often made even narrower as a result of the excess of phlegm (mucus) which is generated.
Symptoms commonly attributed to asthma are coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing properly and a tightness of the chest. If these symptoms intensify over several days or sooner, usually after exposure to a trigger, this is called an acute asthma exacerbation (or more commonly: an asthma attack). In some cases they can be very distressing, and particularly severe attacks will require urgent medical assistance.
Asthma triggers come in many forms, and are different for each person. Alcohol, smoking or breathing other people’s smoke, certain foods and stress are common causes, as well as allergens such as dust mites, pollen and hair from pets. Hormonal changes like puberty, pregnancy and the menopause can lead to the development or worsening of symptoms in women, and the increased breathing or changes in air temperature you undergo while exercising are also an instigator for some.
However, the condition is one which can be successfully managed through suitable medication and regular medical check ups. Montelukast is a preventer medicine used in conjunction with another preventer and reliever when the condition cannot be managed by one treatment alone. Montelukast stops the receptors in the lungs from reacting to leukotrienes, the substance created by the immune system when exposed to particular triggers. In doing this, the bronchi are prevented from responding in the manner that causes the symptoms of asthma.
You should contact your GP surgery if you require this medication. It is not available for purchase from our online pharmacy service.
You must take this medicine as directed by your prescriber and pay attention to any special instructions you may have been given. This will reduce the possibility of side effects and allow your treatment to work to its fullest potential.
- Use as prescribed.
- This will typically be one tablet taken every evening.
- It does not need to be taken with food.
- Continue taking any other asthma treatments prescribed by your doctor.
- If you have forgotten to take your Montelukast tablet, do not take a double dose to compensate. Simply take your next tablet at the scheduled time and carry on as normal.
- Please note that these tablets will not treat an asthma attack in progress. You will still need to carry your reliever inhaler with you in case this happens.
- Montelukast is a maintenance treatment, which means that you should carry on taking it even when you do not experience any symptoms. Your specialist will review your treatment on an ongoing basis, and advise you when to stop using it.
- Do not stop treatment without consulting your doctor first.
- If you accidentally take more tablets than you should, notify your nearest doctor or hospital immediately.
These instructions are provided as a guide. Consult the patient information leaflet enclosed with this medication for a more complete set of directions, and if you still aren’t sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Not everyone who uses this medicine will get side effects, but you should know what these are so that you know what course of action to take in the event that they occur.
Seek immediate medical advice if you: have an allergic reaction, which might include swelling of the face, throat or in the mouth, or anything which causes difficulty breathing or swallowing; have one or more of the symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome, such as pins and needles or numbness in the limbs, rashes, breathing problems or flu like symptoms; have an allergic skin reaction including erythema multiforme or erythema nodosum; or you find your asthma has got worse since taking this medicine.
Very Common (1 in 10 people or more):
Upper respiratory infection.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Abdominal pain, headaches, skin rashes, fever, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhoea.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Mood swings, sleep disorders, feelings of depression, hostility and aggression, nosebleeds, dizzy spells, feeling drowsy, pins and needles, dryness in the mouth, tremors, seizures, muscle or joint pains or cramps, indigestion, or numbness.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Heart palpitations, tendency to bleed more easily, reduced attention span, or forgetfulness.
Very Rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Feeling disoriented, hallucinations, suicidal emotions or acts, hepatitis.
Please refer to your patient information leaflet for comprehensive details of potential side effects.
Taking it with other medicines
You must inform your GP of all other medication you currently take, be it prescription or nonprescription. Other medicines can interfere with the efficacy of your treatment or increase the likelihood of side effects.
Those treatments which may interact with this one include: phenytoin and phenobarbital (used in the treatment of epilepsy); the blood lipid drug gemfibrozil; and the antibiotic rifampicin.
Conditions to look out for
If you are allergic to any of the ingredients (including the active ingredient montelukast) you should not use this medication. Montelukast also contains lactose, so please inform your prescriber if you have an intolerance to milk sugars.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. However, while this medicine is not believed to be affected by the consumption of alcohol, you ought to avoid drinking if it is a trigger for your asthma symptoms.
Will I still be able to drive?
The side effects of Montelukast can include dizzy spells and drowsiness. If you find yourself experiencing these side effects then you should not drive and notify your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Consult your doctor before taking this treatment if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or are considering having a baby.
How should I store it?
Within room temperature and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
The tablets contain: montelukast, lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, low substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose (LH-11), cellulose microcrystalline, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, hydroxypropyl cellulose (LF), macrogol 6000, hypromellose 6CPS (A), and iron oxide (yellow and red).
Avoid taking this medicine if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
Montelukast is not available to buy in the UK over the counter. Your doctor will need to issue a prescription before you can commence treatment.
Is it right for me?
The type of medicine you use will be determined by your regular GP or respiratory nurse, following a review of your condition. They will then be able to issue a prescription for the most suitable form of treatment.
Please note you are not able to purchase this item from our UK pharmacy.
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