Experience with Singulair (or generic montelukast)?

Do we have any experience here with Singulair or the generic montelukast?

(I looked for prior threads, but didn’t find any particularly on-topic.)

I consulted with a pulmonologist Friday about chronic bronchitis with periodic exacerbations, occasionally resulting in Emergency Room visitations (most recently, December 28-30). Pulmonologist added montelukast to my ever-growing personal pharmacopoea.

Do we have any experience here to share? On one hand, it seems to be a good med for the purpose, allegedly with rare side-effects. On another hand, I’ve been reading the horror stories on places like Rxlist. :eek: Mostly, it was the neuropsychiatric side-effects – severe mood changes, for the worse, sleep disturbances, cognitive disturbances… and mostly, it was parents’ horror stories of these effects on their children. (Of course, I understand that it’s mostly the people with horror stories who post there. There were a few glowing testimonials among them.)

One class of horror stories stood out: There were a great many adults who said that brand-name Singulair worked just fine for them, but then the generic montelukast came out, and their insurance companies forced them to switch to the generic, and all the shit hit the fan. The desired effects were reduced or totally lost, while the gruesome side effects all began. They had to quit using it, or go back to the brand-name at their own expense.

Those neuro side effects all seem scary!

Any experiences / good stories / horror stories / whatever with which to regale me?

Well, take my anecdotal data for what it’s worth. A few years ago, I started having recurrent bronchitis. When I would get it, it would take a couple of months for my lungs fully to recover. (Prednisone was useless.) The doctor put me on Singulair (among other things–he decided post-nasal drip was irritating my lungs, so also some other drugs to control that), and I haven’t had a bout of bronchitis since. I haven’t experienced any noticeable side effects, except for not feeling like crap for months out of the year.

Both my wife and I take it for asthma and allergies, we took the name brand and now the generic, no adverse effects. I can wean off it twice a year when the allergies lessen, but she’s on it full time.

I’ve never experienced those weird psychological effects—not that I have noticed anyway.

My anecdote:

I took Singulair mostly for asthma and secondarily for other allergies for several years, and it worked quite well (my nasal allergies responded particularly well). When I was switched to montelukast I notice absolutely no change whatsoever. I have never had noticeable side effects of any kind. I am still taking it daily.

As with many prescription medications, if you took a poll of every single user you would find a small percentage with adverse side effects. I think the only way to know for sure is to try it. I don’t suppose any of the side effects noted in that site became permanent even after stopping the med, so you can stop if you don’t like it for any reason.

I took Singulair for around three years for allergies and had absolutely no side effects whatsoever. I cannot say the same for any other allergy medication I have ever taken (which is nearly all of them).

(Bold added.)

Slightly tangentially off-topic:

Discussions of side-effects one finds in the literature (and often on message boards) never seem to mention if any side-effects tend to be especially long-lasting or even permanent. Yet, there is at least one class of drugs (unrelated to asthma problems) that has a reputation for doing just that: Fluoroquinolones, a class of industrial-strength antibiotics including Cipro and Levaquin and many others, are often reported to produce irreversible neurological damage, both peripheral and central; sometimes after a single dose. Yes, that means permanent and possibly serious brain damage, or persistent peripheral neuralgia.

Stephen Fried, an investigative journalist, wrote a whole book about it, Bitter Pills, after his wife got zapped. (The linked page here has a link to another page where the entire first chapter is on-line.) The medical literature I’ve seen simply says, rather euphemistically, that there are reported cases of “neurological compromise”.

Okay, back on topic: Thank you all, so far, for the positive anecdotes. I noticed, however, that all of the above anecdotes seem to suggest that this med is more used, and more useful, for allergies than for asthma.

It’s not even entirely clear what I’m going to be taking it for. That is, I don’t really have any clear-cut diagnosis. I’ve have some minor-to-moderate degree of chronic bronchitis for many years now, with occasional nasty exacerbations – three ER trips and a few others that should have been ER trips. They tend to call it something like “Acute Bronchitis / Asthma Exacerbation” but I don’t have a Dx for the on-going chronic situation. I’ve had a few spirometry exams, one rather recently, but they never seem to show anything wrong. Someone, tell my bronchioles that! :frowning:

Anyone ever have, or hear of, or know of cases, of sleepwalking? It’s one of the listed occasional side-effects. I live alone, so there’s no one here to stop me if I should start doing that. There are lots of weird (and some dangerous) stories of people sleepwalking when using other drugs like Ambien.

Point of clarification. Allergies trigger my asthma, the singulair only helps with the asthma part, not the allergies… I get to take even more meds to deal with the allergies, yay.

Another question: Does it matter much what time of day you take it?

The instructions give all kinds of different rules, depending on what you are taking it for.

For asthma, take it in the evening. For allergy control, take it in the morning. To control exercise-induced bronchospasm, take it an hour or two before the exercise.

What happens if one takes it at the wrong time? I’m supposed to take it in the evening, but I’d rather take it earlier in the day at least for a few days until I get a sense of how I react to it. Will the sky fall on my head?

I was never told to take it at a specific time of day, so I take it in the morning at breakfast (the only meal I eat at the same time each day).

Okay, so I took the first dose this morning, about an hour ago. I’m sitting here waiting to see if it will map me into the complex plane or transform me into a werewolf. If I start posting Pit-worthy shit and get myself banned, then I guess we’ll know.

I’ve been taking it for my asthma. Other than some vivid dreams (no nightmares, just dreams) I haven’t noticed any ill effects.

I could actually appreciate the occasional vivid dream, providing that (a) I can remember it and (b) it isn’t nightmarish. They can be at least as entertaining as real life. Bonus points for full technicolor.

I was elementary vice principal. saw many kids overcome most debilitating asthma. kids who truly suffered, parents terrified for yrs , within just few weeks on montelukast/singular these kids walking around as if they never had suffered. Parent’s were sleeping again. Living in fear no more. Then my 4 yr old son, at time, started suffering. Chronic bronchitis, couldn’t get out of bed some days. He developed one of the worst asthma cases I’d ever seen. It was terrifying. Because I had seen so many kids & parents through same, i knew of the almost immediate change montelukast has. So when dr suggested it for my my very sick but always happy now 5 yr old son i was 100% on board. Within week & 1/2 results on his asthma were life changing.
This kid had been so sick over a year was healthy. A few more days went by he was tired & moody. This kid was always happy. Never a behavior problem in any way. I asked if he wanted pasta or chicken nuggets for lunch. At that age he only accepted one of those 2 options for lunch! He said pasta. I Made it, put in front of him, he got this frustrated angry look I’d never seen before ,started to cry deeply yelled “i said nuggets” He didn’t say “nuggets”!! But being my boy NEVER acted like this i made him nuggests placed in front of him. He said “i want pasta” ! Pushed nuggets. I didn’t know what was going on. He didn’t eat lunch. Fell asleep til after dinner. I checked temp. His oxygen levels. Were all fine. I planned on taking him to Dr next day if he was still not himself. He was fine day prior. He woke up right around dinner time. I heard him get out of his bed. But his little foot steps stopped right out side his bedroom door in hallway & heard his lil body slump to wood hall floor. I ran to him saw him sitting outside bedroom door in fetal position sobbing. He looked up at me said through sobs “Mama i don’t want to be alive”. I had never been so scared in my life. It was bone chilling. He was in such despair he couldn’t walk!!! This is a kid whose resting face was a smile wanted to “not live”! He is naturally happiest kid I’d ever seen. I picked him up called his doctor’s who know him very well. Told them exactly what happened what he had been like since he woke up. Dr told me with very serious tone…“stop the singular immediately!!!” I did. He was back to himself when he woke up next day. I watched him like hawk. He was fine. We struggled w/the asthma for yrs after. Much of it was very scary. Many hospital visits before he out grew. But nothing scarier than a medication that turned the sweetest, most confident, out going, happy little 5 yr old into a shocking depressed child over night. It was surreal to hear such a young child say he did not want to live! He is now 20 i can promise it was not lasting effect. It stopped with stopping medication. But if he had started montelukast as a teen i am not so sure it would have been such an obvious change to a parent. So intensely obvious. I think about that ALOT. He was not a depressed teen but he was still a teen. And a boy. Not most forthcoming. At that age ask how school was, answer is “good” no inflection. Had to drag out more details. I would like to think i would know. But would it have been too late when i was did? It still chills me to my core brings tears to my eyes to remember that day. I am sick to my stomach weiting this. But i had seen singular be a miracle drug for tons of kids who suffered w/severe asthma. Dr told me he can NEVER take it. He & myself know to list the reaction he had to singular for every dr rest of his life incase they ever suggest a drug for anything that has simular risky side effect. Is scary. Asthma was scary. But that reaction was scarier! That is saying ALOT because his struggle w/asthma was terrifying. But that reaction to that drug was more terrifying.

Thank you for this feedback on this 6-year-old thread. I have been taking generic montelukast (among other meds) steadily all this time. I honestly haven’t been able to notice any effect of taking it, good or bad. I’ve asked my doctor about that, and he still seems to think I ought to continue taking it.

For a few years I was also huffing twice daily on an inhaler called Dulera combining two drugs: one long-acting bronchodilator, and a corticosteroid. It worked well. And then suddenly the manufacturer tripled the already-exorbitant cost, and when I next refilled it, without warning, put me into the Medicare Part D donut hole, and I had to pay $600 (and that was just my co-pay share).

I am now using a twice-daily single-drug (corticosteroid) inhaler called Alvesco that is merely expensive, not exorbitantly so. It seems to work fairly well to keep the wheezing fairly under control. My co-pay comes to $30 per month. I still also take montelukast (although I still have no idea what it’s doing for me), which is dirt cheap.