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Monteleukast (Singulair) – does any one use it and have you had any issues?

From our Facebook page:

So after my son got pneumonia in February gone, he's had several consultants etc. On Monday (and due to winter about to come), we had a respiratory consultant appointment at rvi. They suspect he has asthma like I have, and that his croup/chest infections were not treated correctly last winter which meant he developed pneumonia. The respiratory consultant put gabe on Montelukast- it's supposed to be a strong antihistamine that reduces inflammation over time so chest infections (if they do come) will not inflame his lung and cause pneumonia. My q: has anyone here had experience/ known someone on 4mg Montelukast a day? I've heard so many bad reports and I'm a little anxious x

Does anyone here have input on Monteleukast?

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  • K8sMom2002

    What is the original poster worried about specifically? Has she spoken with her doctor about how often these side effects she's read about happen and if they're likely to happen to her kiddo? 

    DD was on Singulair for several years from age two until about 9… her pediatrician put her on Zyrtec and Singulair because of frequent bouts of sinus and bronchitis. Age 2 was the earliest he could put her on either, he said.

    The combo seemed to help, and she had much fewer issues. However, it wasn't a cure-all, and we had to remove the Singulair when she was 9 because of another medical issue. 

    Before we put her on those meds, she had just come off six weeks of antibiotics because she would get one bout of sinusitis and bronchitis right after another — her little lungs and sinuses just needed a break. I felt better having her on the Zyrtec and the Singulair than back-to-back-to-back antibiotics and sleep issues because she couldn't breathe. 

    My advice would be to talk to the doctor about the risks versus the benefits of any medication he suggests. Sometimes small differences can make a big impact, and that's what happened to DD, but every parent has to decide what's best for their kiddo's particular situation.

  • Jen

    I think her concerns were about the potential for behavioral/psychological side effects. 

  • K8sMom2002

    DD did not have any of the side effects that others have reported, and she started out at 2. Obviously, she's just one kiddo, and her story isn't everyone else's story. 

  • Jen

    My girls were all on it at one point or another and didn't have those side effects either.  I've been on it for maybe 7 years and no issues.  

  • Emilee R Ashline

    I use singulair along with zyrtec and i have not had any problems with it. It does help although my allergies and asthma have been bad today for some reason. I think its the change in seasons

  • K8sMom2002

    That change in the seasons really can impact asthma, can't it, Emilee? Do you have environmental allergies that trigger your asthma? 

  • K8sMom2002

    Ragweed may be blooming out in your neck of the woods right now, since it is fall. Have you checked to see your local allergen report? Weather.com usually has a good overview.

  • K8sMom2002

    Another good resource that will tell you exactly what is blooming in your area is . I just checked and ragweed is definitely blooming in our area!

  • Emilee R Ashline

    Yeah I checked on weather.com. I have the app on my phone but I think it's lying because it says the pollen and other allergy counts are low but yet I'm sniffling and sneezing and my eyes are watering up even though I did take all my medicine this morning

  • K8sMom2002

    Does  cover your particular area? That has helped me figure things out in the past. Sometimes pollen overall can be low, but ONE thing that I'm allergic to can be blooming out, and it gives me a fit. Ditto with DD. 

    Hope you get to feeling better soon … have you talked to your doctor about ways to combat days when your allergy meds don't seem to be helping? 

  • Shea

    I am totally against Singulair. I took that medication in 2008 when I was dating someone with cats and dogs. It worked so amazingly, I could pet cats and not get sick at all, and before that I could not be in a room with them. After two years of being on it, I stsrted getting asthma-like wheezing and coughing, and frequently had to go on prednisone, then it git so bad I was in the ER getting breathing treatments. In Feb 2012 I was diagnosed with Churg-Strauss Syndome, a previously very rare disease, but that is being correlated with Singulair use. Many doctors I saw during that time and since believed my development of the disease was related to Singulair. They have not cconfirme Churg Straus to be CAUSED by Singulair, YET… but that rakes time, to prove causality. The Singulair reps say it masks symptoms of Churg Strauss, but it does not cause it. I personally think it does so well covering up some symptoms of allergy, but there are some parts of the allergy that are NOT helped by the medication, for instance, eosinophils (which are a marker if the disease Churg-Strauss). Now, I was prescribed Singulair by my primary care doctor, for allergy. He did not notice in my CBCs my insanely high eosinophil levels as I was getting sick. Other doctors missed ut too. I was not seeing an allergist or immunologist, or specialist at that time. If you trust your doctor, and monitor your bloodwork, and have a specialist THEN, it could be worth a try, but I would never put my son on that medication. Or recommend it to anyone.

  • K8sMom2002

    Wow, Shea, I can well imagine your frustration and anger at taking a drug that was supposed to help … and for you it ultimately didn't.

    I think you had a good recommendation about monitoring bloodwork and having a specialist manage allergic diseases.

    Do you have any links to medical journal articles about this? I'm a medical journal junkie, and I would really like to dive down and research it. 

  • Kathy P

    That's frustrating Shea – whether it caused or masked the underlying condition that was not caught quicker. I have not heard about that connection before, so it's good to be aware of.

  • Shea

    I googled, and found these two studies about the relationship of churg-strauss and Singular, but there were more studies, if you Google "singular and churg-strauss syndrome". To me, they say there is a relationship in increase incidences of churg-strauss with singular, it has happened both with and without steroid use and/or withdrawal, but they do not know why. They recommend often to make sure you have a specialist, and get lab work done when taking singulair (high eosinophil levels are markers of the disease, which can be seen in a CBC)

    It was frustrating that so many doctors missed my high eosinophil levels, because if the disease had been caught earlier, I could have avoided a heart attack. I was pregnant when I developed the disease, so I had not only my primary care doctor, but also regular lab work done by women's doctors when this whole thing developed, so I cannot stress enough to, a): look over your own lab results and ask about anything flagging as high, and (b.) Have a specialist (I really think an allergist, immunologist, or rheumatologist would have picked up on it.)

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, that is good advice! And I will follow those links and read up. I can certainly see why you were beyond frustrated! Who finally diagnosed Churg-Straus? Was it when you were in the hospital following your heart attack?

  • Gloria

    I use montelucast as one of my four daily meds for asthma. No problems…it was keeping me awake when I took it at night, so I take it in the morning.

  • Shea

    I was diagnosed with Churg Strauss at the hospital. The pulmonologist there had heard, and actually had a patient with CSS before, (it is very rare, and many doctors have not heard of it, so I felt like Someone "upstairs" was lookin out for me) When he recognized the symptoms, he told me what was going on, and we immediately treated it with IV high dose prednisone and cytoxan, which saved my life. We decided to confirm the diagnosis with heart biopsy. I was in the hospital for 10 days recovering after. I followed up with that doctor after, but eventually got referred to an immunologist considered to be the expert in my area on Churg-Strauss Syndrome. The disease used to have a high mortality rate, most people died within 5 years of being diagnosed. I am at year 5 and doing well though, thanks to good doctors, prednisone, and good advice (if I still lived with cats and a dog, I am sure I would be dead by now, whether on Singulair or not, but I do have to say, I would have never been able to live with cats at all had it not been for Singulair, and I wish I had never moved in with cats and a dog in hindsight). Sometimes you think a medication is magical, but it turns out to be detrimental. Not everyone who takes it gets CSS, but CSS is becoming less rare, and this medication in particular is being tied to it. The WHY is the question. I watch this Flonase commercial and it says it stops like 6 different inflammatory responses from allergens, one of them is eosinophils (which are the blood cells that surrounded my heart and gave me the heart attack, and is what we use to monitor the severity of the disease). I do not think Singulair stops all the allergic inflammation, and THAT is why it is not a good medicine in my eyes.