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Singulair targets wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma and reduces the number of asthma attacks.

Known also as the generic drug, Montelukast, the drug decreases the number of rescue inhaler usages. It can be used also before exercise to prevent breathing problems and to relieve symptoms of hay fever and sneezing, stuffy/runny/itchy nose.

The drug works by blocking natural substances known as leukotrienes that may cause or worsen asthma and allergies. It eases breathing by reducing swelling in the airways.

Singulair works gradually and does not relieve asthma attacks. Thus, usage of the quick-relief inhaler is recommended as prescribed.

Typically, patients using Singular don’t experience side effects. However, they are advised to consult their doctors if the following side effects take place: mental/mood changes such as agitation, aggression, anxiety, sleep problems, strange dreams, sleepwalking, memory or attention problems, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, numbness/tingling/shooting pain in the arms or legs, sinus/pain/swelling, muscle weakness. While rare, severe allergic reactions include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness or trouble breathing.

In any case, patients are advised to inform their doctors of all their allergies as Singulair may contain elements leading to allergic reactions. They should reveal their medical history, especially of liver disease and all the prescription drugs they have used, and use Singulair only as needed during pregnancy.

(NOTE: PharmPsych.com is featuring the first 10 of 200 of the most common prescription medicine brands reflected in Google’s app for Rx drug flash cards. The flash cards and the app were developed as visual aids to instruct medical students on modern drugs. In a series of summaries, we recap the purpose and nature of each drug, its side effects and advice on usage. The series will feature Lipitor, Singulair, Lexapro, Nexium, Synthroid, Plavix, Toprol XL, Prevacid, Vytorin and Advair Diskus.)

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Last updated September 2014