Montelukast: my doctor has just... - Asthma Community ...

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Aisling30 profile image
67 Replies

my doctor has just prescribed this tablet for me. I am afraid to take it after reading side effects.

is anyone on this tablet and how are they doing on it

67 Replies
Singinglouder profile image

Been on montelukast for 22 years now, and for most of that time it’s been the only thing controlling my asthma. Haven’t had any problems with side effects.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Singinglouder

Thank you so much. I am afraid I am one of these people who not only reads the information sheet but googles as well. I am very bad but I will try them anyway. Took one yesterday and my pulse rate has come down and breathlessness not so bad.

Poobah profile image

Montelukast has proven very effective for me. I tend to have the occasional vivid dream and that's about it for side effects. I've taken it for at least 20 years (I've lost count).

Yes, some patients will experience other side effects, such as anxiety or depression, and, rarely, suicidal thoughts. It can be overwhelming to read about such side effects, but being forewarned is a good thing as you can stop the medication at the first sign of these problems and talk to your GP or consultant and report your experience via the yellow card system.

I've taken a double dose in error and was expecting more side effects but nothing happened, much to my relief. But I was ready to contact the 111 service, if necessary (I take it in the evening so would need an out of hours service if I did feel unwell). I just had a good night's sleep.

Montelukast doesn't work for every asthma patient and you should see benefits after 6 weeks, according to my asthma nurse. I believe it has about a 75% success rate - that doesn't mean 25% of patients have side effects, it just doesn't control asthma symptoms for about 25% of asthmatics who try it.

If you do want ongoing support while trying Montelukast you can share your experiences with the forum or have a chat with one of the Asthma UK nurses about your concerns.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Poobah

Thankyou so much, I appreciate your comments. I will give it a try cos my inhaler Symbicort is only lasting me 6 hours out of 12 then I need to take a puff of Atrovent😫

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Aisling30

I was on Symbicort for years, struggling. Fostair Nexthaler has proved to be more effective for me by miles.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Poobah

Thank you!

Troilus profile image

I take it. No side effects. I’ve been on it about 2 years now.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Troilus

That's brilliant, I hope I am as lucky🙈

Beefull8 profile image

I’ve been on it for a few years and I think it must have helped because knock on wood I haven’t need my rescue or any inhalers since I’ve been on it. And I’m very sensitive to medication side effects and had zero on these. I heard it’s very safe even from Dr Andrew Weil.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Beefull8

Thank you!

Philippa24 profile image

Been on Montelukast for years and no side effects at all! It's great!

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Philippa24

Thank you

Eibhlinn profile image

I have been on Montelukast for about 2 1/2 years now. I also worried reading the side effects. I do get occasional strange dreams but that’s all. Made a big difference to my asthma. Try it and give it time. If it’s not for you, you will know.I’m also back walking 15km a day with my dog. When my asthma was bad, I was lucky if I walked 2km. My asthma went pear shaped during covid and I never had an asthma attack in my life until 3 years ago. Now I’m back to normal and don’t need my rescue inhaler at all.but I still take it with wherever I go.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Eibhlinn

Thank you for your reply. I hope it works for me too. 🙏🙏

Doodles65 profile image

I’ve been on montelukast for a number of years now and apart from a few tummy pains in the first week of taking it and the occasional vivid dream have had no problems.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Doodles65

Thank you!

Lynneypin profile image

I took it for a couple of years but then started with stomach issues so had to come off it. Never had vivid dreams.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Lynneypin

Thank you

I was JUST like you! I read the possible side effects and freaked tf out and didn’t take them…. Until exactly 2 weeks ago when I tested positive for Covid the first time. I was scared af and decided to start that day. I knew it was going to take time to work but in my head I thought “well IF I was to end up in the hospital it would likely be after a week and then I’d have it in my system for a week “ I have had zero side effects and will continue to use them.

I can’t really say if they work as I take Flovent too and although I’m now Covid negative (I took paxlovid) I do still have phlegm/ cough. I’m going to assume it will be beneficial as those who speak highly of it speak very highly of it.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to AnxiousCanadianChic

Thank you for your positive reply, hope I am as luvky - on day 2😭

mjrminor profile image

I've been on it for about 8 years and never had side effects. I tried coming off it earlier this year at the suggestion of my asthma nurse as my asthma has been well controlled for a long time, but after a few days my asthma symptoms came creeping back. I hadn't realised just how much montelukast had been helping.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to mjrminor

Thank you so much! I hope it is as good for me!

Wheezebag13 profile image

Hi, I've been on Montelkast for 4 years with no side effects and trust my Respiratory Consultant and Nurse in that they would only recommend safe drugs. Every medication has side effects and I feel its more important to have my asthma controlled and keeping as well as I can.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Wheezebag13

Thank you so much!

HowNowWhatNow profile image

My daughter had the dramatic nightmares - night terrors - when on it. She was one of the 1 in 8 who experience side effects. The 7 in 8 derive a lot of benefit from it. Those are pretty good odds.

HowNowWhatNow profile image
HowNowWhatNow in reply to HowNowWhatNow

Not brilliant odds, OK. But the effects are reversible - or have been in my daughter - so being the 1 in 8 could be worse.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to HowNowWhatNow

Thank you!

Muldrew profile image

I have also been on Montelukast for quite a few years and found it v helpful I have had no trouble with side effects from it

And would say it is a game changer

Good luck

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Muldrew

Thank you!

AppleOrchard profile image

I started taking it in June. I didn’t take the whole pill for a while. I wanted to give it the best chance of working without side effects. I took 1 / 4 pill first. Two weeks later I added another quarter and so on until I was at the whole pill. I think it gives your body a chance to get used to it gradually without flooding your system.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to AppleOrchard

Thank you

Wheezy54 profile image

HalloI understand your worries( I was the same) Listen, please give this medication a fair go. I have been using it for a year and it has helped tremendously, allowing me to live alongside my beloved rescue pooch. I do have vivid dreams from time to time but it doesn't bother me. Good luck xx

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Wheezy54

Thank you!

Belke profile image

Hi been on this drug for a number of years and helps

with asthma a great deal havent noticed any side effects.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Belke

Thank you!

Flower00 profile image

First two weeks of starting this medication I had lots of side effects but stick with it as they pass and for me this has been one of the best medications to control my asthma symptoms never looked back.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Flower00

Thank you!

Yetti1 profile image

Hi Aisling - I can just add some opinions really, as not an asthma sufferer, and maybe my views can be seen as jaundiced as the majority of my professional health care experience has been ICU. However, I/we have seen many asthmatics amongst the many conditions presenting over the years, and what really stands out is the need to treat/ manage individuals with all their variation, yet physiological similarities ... and the firms developing medications have the same difficulties, and so does your GP. So, he/she, the asthma nurses and so on are using their experience and understanding + their knowledge of you and your condition to find an optimum treatment for you. I would encourage working with them, trying the product, seeing if it suits and, as many of the accounts here show, it can show evidence of helping. Drug companies have to legally cover themselves, so don't be discouraged by the packaging, just bear it in mind as you trust in your GP - asthma is not a simple condition - just don't forget that you are involved in the process and work together - Good luck.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Yetti1

Thankyou for your advice. I have a new doctor, young and very vibrant. My own gp retired whoIwas withfor 30 years so I hopefully will be in more up to date care😀

Willow100123 profile image

I only take Montelukast if I’m going down with a cold and it helps me a lot and prevents chest infections. But earlier this year I was taking it regularly every day after having some asthma problems and surprisingly I had dizzy spells depression and really bad vivid told me to stop it and just take it when I needed it.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Willow100123

Thank you!

Bagpiper0304 profile image

I've been using it for a few years now with no adverse effects, I was also given a spacer by my doctor which gets the fostair into my lungs better at night and that also made a huge difference, you can google it and find them on amazon, I bought a second one to leave at my girlfriend's so I didn't have to remember to take it with me.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Bagpiper0304

Thank you for replying to me!

Nutzs47 profile image

I’ve been on it for a few yrs and I’ve had no side effects that I’ve noticed although I take mine on a morning as I used to work nights

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Nutzs47

Thankyou so much!

Moosarelli profile image

I've been taking it for 3 years.. never had any problems

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Moosarelli

Thank you!

Maltesemama profile image

Hi! I have been on Montelukast for at least 15 years a nd have no side effects. My understanding was that it helped keep allergens from causing problems.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Maltesemama

Thank you for your reply!

Yatzy profile image

I’ve taken Montelukast for some years, and found it helpful, though do remember a few settling in problems with vivid dreams, that soon settled.

I moved house four years ago and found that my asthma gradually improved very well. I put this down mainly to moving away from a factory that used formaldehyde in large quantities. I spoke to my GP and asthma nurse about reducing medications. They supported me in ‘experimenting’ wisely.

At first I reduced my Seretide but after about seven days I could feel my very well controlled asthma worsening, so reversed that step and after about ten days/ two weeks all was back to good.

When all going well, I decided to try stopping taking Montelukast as the summer started….usually a good time for me. I was concerned about ‘over medicating’ and also wondered whether the listed side effects of anxiety and depression might be affecting my moods. I thought I could trace this side effect back to starting the Montelukast.

For five months I didn’t take Montelukast. At first no change in asthma symptoms but after about two months, I found my perfume trigger suddenly worse, frighteningly worse. I was suddenly struck with a breathing problem so severe that I couldn’t speak or even take my reliever effectively. I removed myself from the trigger completely, and gradually after a very frightening ten minutes, was able to use my reliever effectively, and so cancelled my decision to be driven to a hospital.

This happened another time too, same scenario, and made me very apprehensive about leaving home to be in another environment ….it had been so frightening. Also my asthma was gently reducing from very good control in general.

We then had a puppy to stay and very unusually, I felt my breathing was affected somewhat.

So I’ve returned to taking Montelukast. Too early for a full report but I’m certainly feeling more confident and asthma gradually improving, I think, certainly no more frightening episodes so far.

As far as the concerns about my moods, no change noted with or without Montelukast. I’ve had one or two life changing events to cope with and these problems go on, though hopefully diminishing. I think I’m helped by no longer worrying about M side effects, and just getting on with improving my life.

Hope that’s helpful information


Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Yatzy

Oh thank you much. I do suffer from anxiety also, think it works beside asthma. I used to take xanax but I weaned myself off that with posititive thinking and now I only take one now and again which I am so proud about. I suffer from vertigo too and one of the side effects of montelulukast is dizziness but hopefully they won't affect me that way!

LizPat30 profile image

Dear Aisling, I've been taking this for about two years, no side effects at all. And yes like you I was really worried but if it was going to help my asthma it was worth trying. Good luck Jo xx

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to LizPat30

Thank you, hopefully they will work for me!

mylungshateme profile image

Hi was on montelukast but was taken off when my meds were re jigged around but no significant side affects. I did take it in the morn to limit vivid dreams at night pharmacist said it was fine even though states on pack nocte. Give it a go could make a real difference an if not speak to your gp. 🙂 x

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to mylungshateme

Thank you so much!

Babbela profile image

Since taking it I've noticed my asthma is better controlled and my allergies are extremely better all is good , not had any noticeable side effects so it works well for me .

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Babbela

Thank you so much for your input!

Dee3506 profile image

I've been on montelukast for a while. Now side effects at all.

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Dee3506

Thank you, I hope I get no side effects either x

jeanlesn profile image

I've taken this for years with no severe side effects.

Dizzart profile image

I take it and it’s great for clear lungs but at first due to possible side effects I took half at first for a week and then full dose but I take mine in the morning with my other meds. 👍🏻👍🏻

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Dizzart

Thank you so much, very helpful!

Mariachristina76 profile image

I am on them over a year I find them very good .they have my asthma a lot better 95 percent better

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Mariachristina76

Thank you!

Naturesvalley profile image

I have been on montelukast for over two years now and it is the only thing that stops me coughing at night. I tried coming of it and I found that I could not breathe. I have been told by my respiratory consultant and by my Gp that I am likely to be on it long term. Have had no side effects from it

Aisling30 profile image
Aisling30 in reply to Naturesvalley

Thank you so much, I'm glad it working for you, just hoping it works as good for me and I get no side effects!

Ina27 profile image

I took it years ago (more than 20) and do not remember any side effects then. I was officially diagnosed with asthma 2 years ago (I am 40) and started the Montelukast straight away. I had vivid dreams and panic attacks (not sure if the panic attacks were related to this as they lingered for a while after I stopped the tablets). The worst side effect for me was the acid reflux (which was of course making my asthma worse, it was a vicious cycle). I ended up having an OGD because the Lansoprazole wasn't helping either.

Everything returned to normal when I stopped all tablets (both Lansoprazole and Montelukast). Since then I only need my steroid inhales 2-3times/week and never use Ventolin

Based on the other replies here I can only assume it is 'trial and error'.

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