Overview

 Singulair is used to treat asthma and allergies.

Full prescribing information is available at:

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=8034

Check out Wikipedia for more user-friendly information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montelukast

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  1. Julie Amergian
    Maine
    Reply

    In February 2013 I was switched to a generic drug (Montelukast) from Singular that I had been on for about 20 years. In April 2013 I had to go to the emergency room for asthma. It was the 1st time since I had been put on Singular that I had to go to the hospital. Since then I have been struggling with my asthma and am now frequently on prednisone. I have also had fatigue and depression since being switched. I just figured it out . I am going to pay the extra money and go back on Singular. I wish that I had realized the obvious before I had to suffer so long.

  2. JEN
    Reply

    I have been taking Singulair for years. My doctor wrote the prescription as a “dispense as written” because I have always had issues with starches and talcs used in generic meds. Well, my insurance company has completely disallowed brand name Singulair, so I’ve having to take the generic Montelukast since February of this year.
    My pharmacist has tried both the Teva and Apotex brands, and both give me serious indigestion with bubbles, belching, and stomach acid backing up my esophagus during the night. I have to take Zantac just to calm the indigestion so I can sleep. Can’t take it at other times because I have both asthma and allergies – bedtime is when you have to take it when that’s the case.
    I did some research on the inactive ingredients – the stuff that makes up the tablet and was appalled! Singulair has 5 ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and magnesium stearate. The 5 generics on the market range from 10-13 inactive ingredients. Some have 3-5 of Singulair’s ingredients plus many more – some are laxatives (polyvinyl glycol, polyethylene glycol, macrogol) to help with breaking down the pill in the gut. All 5 generics contain titanium dioxide, and 4 of them contain red and yellow iron oxide (the 5th contains FD&C red and yellow dyes). My pharmacist focused on those as the most likely suspects – he sees many customers who have problems with iron oxides and with titanium dioxide.
    I noticed several references in these comments to Mylan’s generic. Here are the ingredients for that one: silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, fd&c blue no. 2, fd&c yellow no. 6, hypromelloses, magnesium stearate, mannitol, cellulose, microcrystalline, polydextrose, polyethylene glycols, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, triacetin. Notice that there is mannitol (an alcohol-based sugar) – that ingredient has been associated with gastric upset when used in sugar-free products and in no longer included in gums and candies because of problems with kids and GI upset.
    I’m fighting my insurance company. So far, even though they tell me they have a process for appeals, they tell me not to bother because they’re not even going to consider it. Now I’m armed with ingredient lists and will consult my allergist about potential allergies – the titanium dioxide is a strong potential since I’ve had problems with other pills that contain that ingredient.
    So, fight for the brand! Singulair doesn’t work for a ton of folks, but when it does, it’s awesome! Has really controlled my nighttime asthma and is the one med that I take that I really notice if I run out. Once I found out how much junk was in the other pills, I’m really convinced that many side effects to generic medicines are due to the inactive ingredients.
    And one other note, when the generics cite side effects and research findings, they’re just reporting the clinical studies that were originally done for montelukast when it was developed as Singulair. They NEVER do additional clinicals on generics to test for side effects to the inactive ingredients – I suspect many of the problems we are all encountering are due to untested inactive ingredients used to make the pill itself.

  3. RSH
    Reply

    I’ve suffered ever since roughly end of 2012 with amazing & terrorizing nightmares. Worse, I’d typically would awaken around 4 a.m. (after taking Montelukast about 11 p.m.) with my mind racing, and incredibly “moody” thoughts. I suppose suicidal thoughts is what people are too afraid to say—not me. Day after day I contemplated suicide…and I’m doing great, all things considered.
    Unfortunately, with a rotten childhood, it did seem “a good idea”, this suicide ideation. It passed once I was on my own, financially secure, married, happier, etc. Then, when my life was really improving and stable (now 61), the odd suicide ideation had returned…so subtley. Been off the Montelukast, no more ideation. Between pharmaceutical companies & insurance companies trying to make as much money as possible (thanks, Congress), I don’t see how the average person can hope to survive better. Doctors? Please, I keep getting a new one each year their contract is up—it’s Florida.

  4. J.C .W.
    Reply

    Generic singulair does not work for me and it looks like I am not alone. I once paid around $60.00 for singulair but when I checked with a couple of pharmacies they informed me that singulair now costs about $240.00+.

  5. SHL
    Reply

    To DZ: We had a grandson on Singulair daily for asthma/skin problems when he was in K-5 and he started having behavioral problems that were not at all normal for him. When the Singulair was stopped, he quit misbehaving.

  6. dz
    Reply

    I recently started having problems with my marriage. I was told that they started 8 months ago. I realized that 1 month prior to the changes I started taking montelukast. I took Singulair as a child and it worked well. My insurance changed me to the generic and over the last 8 months or so, I have experienced many side effects that unfortunately I was unwilling to admit.
    The side effects were suicidal thoughts (nothing attempted thank god), fatigue, depression, weird dreams, mood swings. I am not blaming the drug for my relationship issues. Some of the issues are mine and I recognize and take responsibility for them. I just wanted to share because if I didn’t have a loving wife and didn’t see the connection with the drugs I may have lost my marriage.

  7. LQ
    Reply

    I have began experiencing many symptoms of asthma since switching from singular to the generic version too. My asthma was under control for a very long time while on Singular. this year and herbal pills with the new generic version of this medication.

  8. MC
    Reply

    there have been several reports on substitution from Singulair to generic, I had abnormal dreams myself when taking the generic. now back to brand. Do not know which generic montelukast this was.

  9. SHL
    Reply

    I agree, generally I am not opposed to generics. I take a Teva blood pressure medication and do very well on it.
    What really gets me, is the Insurers will not pay on a name brand prescription what they would pay for the generic. I have had twice the number of sinus infections which invariably turn into bronchitis since I had to leave Singulair. I got sixty Singulair tablets in Italy for 40 Euro and felt much better while on them.

  10. CM
    Reply

    I had been taking Singulair for about a year when my drug plan required a switch to generic Montelukast. Unlike others here, I began taking the generic made or marketed by Teva, and not only experienced no improvement in my symptoms, but also experienced unpleasant side effects, such as nasal drainage that gave me a sore throat.
    The next time I saw my allergist, he noted that my condition had worsened and said that he would have to prescribe an additional drug to control the symptoms. Because an online search confirmed that others had experienced problems with the Teva generic, I began to look for an alternative, and found Mylan. My pharmacy initially told me that it could supply only Teva, which was frustrating, but my new doctor specified Mylan generic, and to my surprise, the pharmacy then changed its tune, supplying that drug, which has worked for me.
    I am happy about this, because I did not want my plan to have to pay for the more expensive brand-name drug or to pay for another drug to offset the Teva side effects. The point is that side effects and efficacy will vary from patient to patient, and a generic may be acceptable, provided that you find the one that works for you. And be sure to check the bottle prior to accepting the drug from the pharmacy each time, to ensure that the generic that has been filled is the one you want.
    P.S. I was recently prescribed my doctor’s preferred drug for another condition, and was not certain that the Teva generic for that worked, either, so I did another online search for patient reviews. Patients who had taken the name brand extended-release drug and had switched to generic stated that the generic did not work nearly as well, with some patients actually reporting hospitalization due to the failure of the drug.
    Because I had never taken the name brand, I really did not even know whether the drug as initially approved by the FDA would work for me, and I did not want to have the generic dosage increased unnecessarily or to switch to another drug that might have more side effects, so I asked my doctor to specify name brand only for a month’s worth of pills. My insurance company would not pay for this, so of course it was much more costly, but if it works, the doctor will justify the name brand or we will search for a better generic. As a patient, I am not opposed to generics, and even prefer them if they work, but I resent that pharmacies and drug plans seem to have struck deals with generic manufacturers that restrict the ‘brand’ of generic available to the patient, regardless of its efficacy and ultimate increased cost to both the patient and the plan.

  11. SHL
    Reply

    Thanks, VK I will refer back to your remarks if I cannot get the Apotex. My independant pharmacist is able to buy from different suppliers which so far is allowing me to get Apotex. The large chain drug stores are not able to do this. Your experiences seem to echo mine. I am so busy at work that having to deal with this new insurance form of “socialized medicine” is truly a pain and an unnecessary source of stress. Still say that the trouble, the illnesses, and the wasted time off are not conducive to efficiency or health.

  12. VK
    Reply

    If you are given a generic form of singulair. Write down the manufacturer. There seems to be over a dozen different ones…and they are not the same.
    Most pharmacies only carry one…and they frequently switch. I had three manufacturers this year. Some work fairly well…some are not good at all.
    I agree with the above Apotex did seem to be one of the best. Also Aurobindo was good.
    Once you find one that works….check before you refill…if they switched..look for another pharmacy. If you are doing mail order..you may need to appeal to your insurance company to have them let you fill your 90 day at a retail pharmacy because they don’t carry the generic that works for you. This is what I had to do..its a pain…but still better then wheezing all the time.
    It would be cheaper for me to find a generic that works and pay for it out of pocket..than try to get Singulair..name brand. Most insurance policies have a new clause which says that if a generic is available, and the patient chooses to use name brand, the patient is responsible for the co-pay..PLUS the difference in price between the generic and the name brand. This means that last year before Singulair went generic I could get 90 days for $105. Now it will cost me $465.02!

  13. SHL
    Reply

    Well, I’ve been on Montelukast Sodium Tablets 10 mg manufactured by Apotex Research Pvt. Ltd. for about 10 days and seem to be better. I still believe I was better on Singulair but am willing to try this generic for another month. So far so good.

  14. EE
    Reply

    problem with generic singulair here. Been on brand name for 6 years, switched 2 weeks ago and I can not get rid of my head ache and have extreme tiredness. Switching back to brand name as of tonight; not sure what to do with the 6 month supply of the poor quality generic stuff that I have left.

  15. SHL
    Reply

    Well, it has happened again. Switched by pharmacy to Montelukast manufactured by Dr. Reddy. Horrible bout with bronchitis, days off work, shots, strong antibiotic, inhalers, etc. Really sick. Did not associate with Singulair substitute until three weeks later when I could not sit through an hour’s meeting without coughing. Have been experiencing shortness of breath since bout with bronchitis but just didn’t blame the drug until nothing else seemed to help. So, I can take the substitute made by Mylan if I can find it, but it nauseates me somewhat (like aspertame).
    The Teva and Dr. Reddy generics do not work on me. So tomorrow, I start my hunt for a new generic to try. I just wonder how long it will take insurance companies to realize that these generics do not work and are costing them money, not to mention the health of their rate payers.

  16. SGO
    Reply

    I’ve been on Singulair for about 10 years and NEVER had an asthma attack while using it. I have been on the generic version Montelukast for over 6 months and have experienced numerous and very serious asthma attacks, shortness of breath and unable to breathe deeply as I could when I was on Singulair.
    Somehow, I made the connection that it must be the Montelukast not working for me. I requested my doctor to prescribe ONLY Singulair for me, which she did. I will never go back to the generic version again! It’s worth having to pay more out-of-pocket money for something that works and potentially saves my life.

  17. BME
    Reply

    Thank you so much. I knew I was not losing my mind. I too have been on Singulair for about 6 years. I got a refill and went down hill after 5 weeks. I could not figure out what was wrong with me until a co-worker asked about my asthma and allergy meds. She mentioned she had gotten switched from Singulair to Montelukast due to insurance. Sure enough, that is what happened to me. Unfortunately, my doctor argued with me about it being my imagination. Meanwhile, I am suffering with my breathing. This ridiculous.

  18. SHL
    Reply

    @ MD, No a generic and a placebo are two different things. The generic has to be 81% similar to the original drug, in this case Singulair. Generics are made by many different companies and therefore that 19% can be different in each manufacturer. So please, if you are not getting the relief you had enjoyed previously from Singulair, tell your pharmacist and get some by another manufacturer. It worked for me. If you get no relief from any of the generics, go back to Singulair and just pay the differenct. Breathing is that important!

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