Advice re side effects to montelukast - Asthma UK communi...

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Advice re side effects to montelukast

Feelingill
Feelingill

Can anyone tell me if the side effects of montelukast subside in time ? I suffer from migraines and found after 2 weeks of taking the montelukast , I had a permanent headache (sometimes triggered a migraine) I also itch and keeping getting an itchy rash. The headaches are really getting me down . I stopped the medication, but found my cough and wheezing returned along with shortness of breat. I am 56 years old and have only recently been diagnosed with asthma. Following a year of chest problems and a cough that wouldn’t go away, they have decided it’s asthma. I am struggling to find help and have had my inhaler dose increased, but the montelukast did really help. I eant to continue with it , but can’t stand the headaches

26 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

Tell your doctor about this. As it might not be suitable for you.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to Hidden

Thank you

Aha ...you're not taking monteleukast, you're taking singulair (presumably 10 mg monteleukast sodium tablets once a day at bedtime).

Now ... Having been on it for maybe like oh say 20 years, what have I learned. The brand can feel different from the generic, and I once was certain that I had a vicious reaction to a specific generic. I can be touchy regarding medications. I chose to narrow down to a specific pharmacy that gets a generic that works well for me, like the brand that I can't afford.

I'll never know for sure. But fyi the generic that caused what i think was a reaction was by unichem pharmaceuticals (USA), inc.

I have experienced the depression side effect, but it also helps me sleep and is a lovely antiallergic, anti-inflammatory drug. I can tell when I'm not on it, like if I skip a night I'm "more me", but it's not worth it to miss our on all of respiratory benefits.

Hope this helps. Rash, hives etc. would suggest that you're having an allergic reaction to something. Whatever that something is should be stopped, and, yes, your doctor needs to be aware.

Have they given you theophylline? It's another little miracle drug for me that is excellent regarding shortness of breath. Following is my daily regimen, in case it gives you ideas:

6 am and 6 pm - Mucinex 1200 mg + theophylline (Theo 24) 100 mg

7 am and 7 pm - duoneb ( Albuterol and ipratroptium) via nebulizer followed b 2 puffs qvar 80

8 pm ish, monteleukast 10 mg

I recently had a nasty sinusitis + bronchitis and the old standby zpak failed. My doc gave me Cipro and I'm still struggling but it worked much better. I had tons of antibiotics throughout my life so I'm allergic to most of them, including penicillin.

In the past I had great success with a nebulizer "cocktail" I got when I was out of control - brovana, ipratroptium, pulmicort. Doctors who are more like pulminologists use it. I had an allergist once who felt comfortable using it on me and I do miss it.

Be careful of melatonin. I love it but it is known to cause night time asthma at least.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

I can’t take it in the evening as it has the opposite effect (can’t sleep) it really helps the asthma , it’s jusy the relentless headaches .

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

Have you tried taking brand name Singulair? In my experience, the brand feels a little different from the generic. I heard the British national health service leans more towards brand drugs, or they are much less expensive than in the u.s., where we are usually steared towards the generics. I have never had a headache from Singulair or its generics.

I can't resist reminding you ... Chemicals, perfumes, spicy foods, cigarette smoke, vaping, laundry detergent, your hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, hairspray, nail polish, moisturizer, household disinfectants, etc ad infinitim can mess you up terribly.

I swear by seventh generation free & clear hand soap, laundry detergent, and dish and dishwasher soap. In bath I use the dove bar for sensitive hypoallergenic fragrance free.

Your laundry should be washed in hot and dried on hot to kill dust mites.

Your rug and moldy bathroom can make you terribly sick as can the air that comes in via heating vents, etc.

I'm a disaster if I dust or vacuum. I wear a cheap disposable mask when I go out to protect against inhaling pollens and particulates, and on public transportation.

I swore by my iqair healthpro plus air purifier, but can't afford to replace the filters. It does work.

I love the Neil med bottle with the little packets for nasal irrigation and I use it with distilled water only - at least once a day.

Watch out for fragranced hand sanitizer. I use the standard purell, but that can be very irritating anyway. I moistize with cheap fragrance free stuff from trader Joe's and when I'm a real mess have used Vaseline.

I'm quite certain you don't live with a cherished pet ( dog, cat, etc. ) If you do, and you can't get your symptoms under control, your best friend may need a new home. I've been through it myself.

Hope something in here helps.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

I am aware of the trigger and don’t have a mouldy bathroom. I live in England and the damp a cold can impact . But! What I wanted advice on , was if the headaches would reduce in time ?

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

The only Drug that has given me nighttime jitters and possibly headaches is medrol, which is like Prednisone.

Hidden
Hidden

Good luck with finding the answers you need and getting the right meds for you

I assume you've done your internet research and have seen this article webmd.com/asthma/news/20170... It definitely surprised me. It mentions all of the issues that you are having including both the headaches and jitters and suggests to me you may be unusually sensitive to the drug.

You should be talking to your doctor, but I can't guarantee how good a listener our doctor is. One interesting note in the article is that it's part of a class of drugs - you never know if you would be ok with a different drug in the same class, or as I mentioned brand vs. generic.

It is clear per the article that due to the danger of uncontrolled asthma, the pros are weighed with the cons in a patient like yourself. I would suggest this - at our age especially uncontrolled asthma puts a strain on the heart. Just wondering take your temperature and check your blood pressure when you have the headaches and jitters from the monteleukast, just to see the extent of the side effects.

I was quite surprised when a relative of mine insisted she was allergic to xopenex (levalbuteral) since I had relied on it for years. It was given to her in the hospital when she had pneumonia. I honestly did not take her seriously at first.

Yes I’ve tried to research as much as I can in the short time I’ve been taking it. I’ve not suffered anything as bad as some have described . It’s just the headaches are wearing . I suffer from migraines and have had problems with other medications (anti depressants) giving me headaches. I have usually opted to stop taking them and looked at alternative help . But in this case, the improvement in my breathing and coughing has been excellent. Once I stopped taking them , the asthma symptoms returned quite quickly. I’ve decided to go back on them and try to persevere for another month . My reason for posting, was to try to find out if anyone had the same problem and wondered (hoped) it would get better in time . I’ve only just been diagnosed with asthma and I am struggling to come to terms with it all.

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

I was possibly born with asthma but my first "croup" was at 4 years old. It is absolutely medications that have saved my life. I have made it to 55 and the past few years my asthma has been worse than ever.

I was shocked during an uncontrolled exacerbation at 53 after I shot with two inhalers as prescribed that I got a sudden tight squeeze in the center of my chest that my nebulizer didn't relieve. Guess what ... That was likely angina. July of that year I was referred to cardiologist the first time in my life and ... Yep ... He found stuff. I'm not as young as I used to be.

Do be aware as you age with asthma, that the chest is a location for symptoms of anxiety, heart disease, asthma, as well as muscular aches and pains. It is so important to really learn to listen to and feel what your body is telling you, and to get those routine check-ups. Thats why doctors who listen are so important.

Some patients do very well on allergy shots and it can decrease your reliance on medication. There is a new awareness of nonallergic asthma that can be discovered by blood test and treated with new medications.

I do know of people who swear by naturopathic doctors. My asthma has been dangerous enough and unpredictable enough throughout my life that I have stayed with traditional Western medicine.

I really can't emphasize after enduring it all for over 50 years that the quality of your doctor, his or her creativity and willingness to listen to and spend time with the patient, and the quality of the staff, is everything.

The way you will come to terms with your asthma is to treat the acute onset aggressively, get it under control with maintenance medications, alter your environments to decrease exposure to triggers, and then get on with your active life. Stress can be a huge trigger, so decreasing stress where you can will benefit you.

Life expectancy thanks to medications is like that of nonasthmatics from what I've researched.

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

I left out that I get the flu shot annually and was given a pneumonia vaccine about 11 years agowhen I started using public transportation. My asthma can have remission periods which have even show up on tests, but the are temporary. A virus like influenza can be a huge trigger and I'm wondering if your symptoms didn't start with a nasty virus and complications. If so, you may get better over time as long as you treat the asthma now.

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

Since you mentioned antidepressants, I thought I would let you know that when I was facing root canal a few years ago I asked my allergist if I could take something to quiet me down safely that would not impact my asthma. He said the only drug he knew of was Ativan and prescribed a very low dose. It helped the root canal and of course withdrawals were horrible because I do have anxiety.

I was prescribed zoloft and then trazidone a few years ago. Zoloft made me feel like my guts were on fire and so I got off of it. I do not know if there is a link between antidepressants and sudden onset of severe asthma.

Hi Feelingill

Have you been back to your doctor? In coming to terms with your asthma disagnosis I would strongly recommend Asthma UK helpline. They really have helped me with the many questions I had at the beginning with my asthma. Below is copied and pasted from their own website Asthma UK 0300 222 5800

Whatever your concern, speak to our team of expert asthma nurses by calling our confidential Helpline on 0300 222 5800 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Also their website has really good and clear information about asthma including adult onset asthma.

I hope this really helps you.

Thank you . Yes I will try to give them a ring the next time I have a day off work

I concur asthma uk helpline is an excellent group to join.

Something that was on my mind after all of my very long posts,is that the very NSAIDS you may have used to treat your migraines may be a culprit in your asthma. When I'm sick and or sinusitis and using ibuprofen every 6 hours to reduce fever, discomforts, or inflammation, my doctor has reminded me and I have noticed a change myself.

For my heart disease I was prescribed one baby aspirin a day with caution due to my asthma.

My cardiologist also took me off of cardizem because it appeared to seriously impact my asthma.

In short, any medications you now or have taken in the past could be impacting this asthma!a onset. I assume that discussion and complete medical history happened but highly volume doctors don't have the time.

NSAIDS that you might choose to treat your migraines are something that jumps out at me.

And ... Did you ever have a sinus x-ray to confirm your headaches dont have a sinus component - just in case. Zetonna which is a prescription drug, and Flonase sensimist, are great on sinuses.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

It’s not my sinuses, I’ve suffered from migraines all my adult life. I can’t tolerate preventative medication for migraines. I have taken zolmatriptan nasal sprays for the last ten years . They have changed my life and are really effective most of the time . But I never thought about a medication causing asthma? I very rarely take ibrufen. My doctor suggested it could be stress . (Was off sick from work for 5months with work related stress, anxiety and depression) I can’t tolerate anti depressants either by the way ! I had a virus last February and my cough, tightness of chest and breathing just never went away. Was under massive stress at work and they put a lot down to that. But sounded my chest and had an infection . Had antibiotics 3 times , steroids 3 times. Chest X-ray was clear . My spiro (whatever it’s called) was borderline 70% ?? . Doctor decided it wasn’t COPD. Then, just before Christmas they decided it was asthma (which could have been brought on by stress) I have since (New Year ) had a flu virus (quite ill, in bed for 8 days ) went to docs when I was well enough to get there and I had bronchitis. (I’ve never had bronchitis in my life . So it appears that i do have a problem with my lungs . Started to feel better while taking the medication , but the headaches have been very disappointing. As soon as I stopped taking them , my cough and breathless came back. Doctor sounded my chest and said it’s clear? Thank you all for you help, I will contact the help as advised and try to get some support as it is quite overwhelming.

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

Asthma is combination mucous, inflammation and spasm. Spirometry is the test you need to read what's happening in your airways.

I have had similar cycles including job related exacerbations.

You are coming across as a classic but complicated case. Try to find a really good allergist internist possibly pulmonologist type. The good news is that your lungs sound clear, but that doesn't help you, and good doctors know that. 70% on spirometry borderline? Wow .... How sick do you have to be??? My doctor uses the tests, but emphasizes " how do you feel ?" My favorite doc ever when all else failed wrote me a prescription, " decrease stress" not kidding.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

That made me laugh ! Thank you

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

Yes, it is quite overwhelming when you can't breathe. You should always leave a specialists office breathing better with a plan to keep you that way.

As an aside, my father had allergies, became a successful allergist, and I practically was born wheezing. Both sides of my family have allergies and or some asthma, but I appear to have inherited everything bad much worse.

I have had care from my father, some of the best allergists there are, lousy Medicaid doctors, and no care and everything in between. I can tell you the difference between suffering and feeling great and getting back to your old life is sometimes, not always, but sometimes money spent and the right doctor and staff

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

We have the very brilliant , but under funded NHS is the Uk. I may have to go back and ask to see a specialist. Thank you

IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Feelingill

In the u.s, the rich get richer and better, the poor get poorer and sicker and therefore poorer.

Here is a link to one of the top training and treating facilities in the United States. You may want to follow them in some way to get educated on the cutting edge of respiratory care that's happening in this country.

nationaljewish.org/doctors-...

There is another place in Colorado but Denver Jewish is extremely well known.

Feelingill
Feelingill
in reply to IChoose

Thankyou x

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to IChoose

Amen to that! You have got to be your own advocate.

Hidden
Hidden

Yes! Had same side effects. Also it is supposed to help you control asthma - it didnt help mine. Alll it did for me was having one URI after another. Look at the sheet that comes with the drug. They are both on there as side effects. Not worth it. Have you tried DuoNeb nebulizer treatments and Symbicort? It is been a great combo for me! Hang in there and God keep you!

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