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.