New to Montelukast

Has anyone used montelukast?

I was diagnosed with asthma nearly 5 years ago and for the main part I'm pretty well controlled though if I get a cold it will always end up in me being on antibiotics .which is usually 3 times a year.

I am pretty fit (though overweight) and run several times a week and even run half marathons. However since the middle of March I've not been able to fuel to my asthma.

Since then I have had 3 courses of antibiotics,, 2 courses of steroids and a chest X-ray and blood tests which showed nothing.

I finished my last course of antibiotics just over 2 weeks ago and felt great but within a few days I started feeling wheezy again. I had already been on my max dose of symbicort as advised by my asthma nurse so was unable to increase further.

Over the last 2 weeks the wheezing is a little better but does still happen but I have a very annoying cough which I struggle to loosen and bring anything up. Because of this and constantly feeling like something is on my lungs I'm still unable to run.

So I popped to the Drs today and was given Montelukast. I've never heard of it and stupidly I forget to ask how long it's likely to take till I feel any improvement. Do I take my symbicort as well?

Thank you in advance and sorry for that being so waffly.

8 Replies

  • Hello there Tillymint :) nice name, reminds me of peppermint tea which I m rather fond of. I m so sorry to hear you re having such a rough time with your asthma, I can relate as I m in the middle of a terrible flare up due to the wildfires here as well as my mum using cleaning chemicals and incense and other such triggers. I am on singular ( montelukast) once a day and it helps control my allergies which trigger my asthma and in so doing it reduces the amount of flare ups I have ( well at least its supposed to, to be quite honest about it, its worked well until the wildfires started). Singulair takes a while to start working, personally I took about 3 weeks before I noticed any improvement but once it started working and you remember to take it every day it works well. Also I haveent experienced any side effects. I hope it starts working for you soon and you are on the mend. Have a wonderful evening. Take care. Hugs :)

  • Thank you so much for replying Jasmine.

    3 weeks seems such a long time but I guess as long as there is an improvement time doesn't matter too much.

    I think pollen has a lot to answer for despite antihistamine ..

    Hopefully your asthma will settle down soon too, must be awful when there's nothing you can do about the wildfires and I'm sure even non asthmatics suffer with them so will be even worse for you. X

  • HI Tillymint and welcome!

    I've been on montelukast for a few years. I believe it's meant to take a few weeks to get the full effect and can vary but I actually started to notice an improvement within a few days - subtle but was able to do more etc. My GP said it should start working fairly quickly though have heard different things.

    And definitely take your Symbicort as well. Hope you feel better soon but if not definitely go back to your GP. Sometimes it can take a while to get the right combination of medication. Do you also get hayfever? If so might be worth looking into that and the right antihistamines as well.

  • Dear Tillymint

    You are most welcome :) Pollen seems to be your main trigger? have you tried things like wide rimmed hats to avoid getting the pollen in your hair, wrap around sunglasses to act as a barrier from it getting into your eyes and irritating the ocular surface? Also simple things like a shower before lying in bed so to avoid pollen from your clothes getting on your bed and blankets so it won't cause you to sneeze and be itchy all night all. I ve found non-drowsy claratin helps, where as piriton and benadryll make me rather drowsy and essentially useless as I fall asleep for the reminder of the day lol

  • Also I forgot to mention this but please don't stop your symbicort, continue to use it as recommended :) I made this mistake of stopping it as i started improving and thought my asthma was under control but I had a terrible attack after stopping and when I went back to see my dr I got put on the stronger dose two puffs twice a day. So definitely continue your symbicort, don't make the mistake I did :)

  • Hi. I'm on montelukast as well and like others here, it took around 3-4 weeks to fully kick in. But what I wanted to mention was that if you are also suffering with hay fever or other allergies, it would be worth considering a steroid nasal spray. It'll stop any post-nasal drip that can exacerbate asthma. I use a nasal spray, montelukast and symbicort everyday and when my skin is acting up (often) I throw in an antihistamine too (cetirizine). This combo seems to calm things down for me, at least this time of year. Hope things settle for you soon.

  • Hi Everyone.

    Yes Montelukast!

    I was diagnosed with late onset Asthma about 6 years ago

    My type of Asthma is the coughing variety which originally started as a harsh dry cough and has laterly developed along the lines of Tillymints,

    whereby I have had numerious sinus infections that then go to the chest. and then I require antibiotics and prednisolone to clear it.

    I have been taking symbicort as well,not to mention nasel drops & sprays

    I changed the Montelust to Accolate recently as the Montelukast didn't appear to be keeping these problems at bay,but the Accolate proved

    to be even worse.

    So whilst I was taking the medication for the latest infection I decided to search the internet to find out what all of these drugs were about.

    I would add that I have been visiting an Asthma and allergy consultant for about 3 years and his diagnosis was that I have no allergies

    but do have 50% more Lukotrines(spelling?) in my blood than I should have and to combat that he prescribed Montelukast,which is a Lukotrine blocker

    Initially I remember that that seemed to work very well,but as time went on that was not the case.

    So back to the internet.

    I found a blog on an American site which started going white hot in the middle of 2012.

    The original Montelukast drug is made by Merck had the brand name is 'Singulair'.

    In the summer of 2012 it went off patent and a number of much cheaper generic drugs came onto the market.

    These Americans who had been on Singulair,many of them successfully for several years, found that the generic drugs that they

    were switched onto by their insurance companies to save money were nowhere need as good as the original product.

    I checked my montelukast packet and it was a generic made by TEVA,which did not come out well on the blog.

    It was clear to me that I really needed to get back onto Singulair asap(I didn't realise that anything had actually changed as it is all called Montelukast)

    I have now managed to do so by visiting my GP armed with the evidence and whilst he initialy told me he couldn't prescribe Singulair through his dispensary, we have found away around that:-)

    At the same time as getting back onto the Singulair about 2 weeks ago, I decided that I would purchase a spirometer(Carefusion Micro 1) so that I could monitor my lung function accurately on a daily basis(that's all the consultant does whenever I go to see him and charges £250 to tell me the results)

    Thats an investment of £330 or thereabouts so not cheap,but necessary I feel as I want to dispense with as many of the drugs as necessary and only

    take what is necessary to keep me where I am now.

    I am currently taking 2 puffs of Simbicort night and morning and will continue with that until the end of this month.

    My lung function is currently on average 10-15% above the predictions for my age(62) and height and importantly is stable and I feel good.

    If everything remains the same I intend to reduce the Simbicort to 1 ruff a day at the end of this month and then if my lung function

    remains stable to stop it altogether at the end of June.

    If the Singulair controls my condition then great, however if my lung function starts to deteriorate from where it is now, then I will start the Simbicort again

    as required,until it is back to where it should be

    I would not consider doing stopping the Simbicort if I didn't have the Spirometer to accurately monitor my lung function on a daily basis(indeed hourly if need be!)

    So armed with the original drug Singulair and the Spirometer I hope to be able to keep my infections under control and reduce my drug intake

    At the moment as well as my lung funtion being at personal best levels,there is no sign what so ever of any sinus infection,so so far, so good.

    I forgot to add that I do on my Consultants advice wash my sinus's out morning and night with a salt solution using a plastic bottle and will continue to

    do that regardless. I used to use expensive little prefilled salt packets, but now mix my own( sea salt/baking soda) Much cheaper!

    I will keep you updated as the experiment unfolds.


  • Hi everyone,

    Montelukast does helps after sometime which shoudnt take too long to kick in. It is supposed to be a bronchodilator which just widens your airways. It is called an add on therapy which means something extra to your inhalers which is why you should not stop your symbicort. Also if you are getting asthma trouble and taking add on therapy you should get a referral to a cons. The cons helps much more than the gp as they understand more of this stuff. Also you can ask the asthma UK adviceline for any questions. First when I started on it I thought that its not working so I even changed my GP. After sometime I got some improvement in my peak flow maybe a month or so. But for me it took quite a long time to kick in, even though I take my meds regularly. Hope you get better and be patient till the montelukast starts to work!

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