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Singulair Side Effects

Generic Name: montelukast

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug montelukast. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Singulair.

For the Consumer

Applies to montelukast: oral packet, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

As well as its needed effects, montelukast (the active ingredient contained in Singulair) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking montelukast, check with your doctor immediately:

Less common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • bloody nose
  • flu-like symptoms
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sweating
  • tightness of the chest
  • trouble with swallowing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Pus in the urine
Incidence not known:
  • Agitation
  • anxiety
  • attempts at killing oneself
  • breathing problems
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • constipation
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hives or welts
  • indigestion
  • itching, puffiness, or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • lack of appetite
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly moving to the back
  • redness of the skin
  • shaking or trembling of the hands or feet
  • trouble with concentrating
  • unable to sleep
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes or skin

Minor Side Effects

Some montelukast side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Less common:
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • blurred vision
  • change in near or distance vision
  • dental pain
  • earache
  • heartburn
  • lack or loss of strength
  • pain
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly and oozing
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
Incidence not known:
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
  • dreams that are unusual
  • increased tendency to bleed
  • large, flat, blue or purplish patches on the skin
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • sleepiness
  • swollen joints

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to montelukast: oral granule, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable


The most common adverse reactions (incidence more than 5% and greater than placebo) were: Upper respiratory infection, fever, headache, pharyngitis, cough, abdominal pain, diarrhea, otitis media, influenza, rhinorrhea, sinusitis, otitis.[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Churg-Strauss Syndrome[Ref]

Churg-Strauss syndrome is a rare granulomatous eosinophilic condition that involves the upper and lower airways and manifests as rhinitis, sinusitis and asthma. If untreated the syndrome may progress to systemic vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy and potentially fatal cardiac complications. In most cases, the condition emerged during withdrawal of oral corticosteroid therapy. A causative role for leukotriene receptor antagonists has not been ruled out.[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (18.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness (1.9%)
Postmarketing reports: Disturbance in attention, irritability, memory impairment, tremor, drowsiness, paraesthesia/hypoesthesia, seizures[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash (1.6%), atopic dermatitis, skin infection, eczema, urticaria
Postmarketing reports: Angioedema, bruising, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, pruritus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain (2.9%), dyspepsia (2.1%), dental pain (1.7%), gastroenteritis (1.5%), nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, tooth infection[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): ALT increase (2.1%), AST increased (1.6%)
Postmarketing reports: Hepatic eosinophilic infiltration; cases of cholestatic hepatitis, hepatocellular liver-injury, and mixed-pattern liver injury. Most of these occurred in combination with other confounding factors, such as use of other medications, or when administered to patients who had underlying potential for liver disease such as alcohol use or other forms of hepatitis.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Myopia, conjunctivitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, fatigue (1.8%), fever (1.5%), trauma (1%), influenza, fever, otitis, viral infection, varicella, ear pain, otitis media
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Malaise
Postmarketing reports: Edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Influenza (4.2%), cough (2.7%), nasal congestion (1.6%), pharyngitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, infective rhinitis, acute bronchitis, rhinorrhea, pneumonia, upper respiratory infection, wheezing, tonsillitis
Postmarketing reports: Epistaxis, pulmonary eosinophilia[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Palpitations[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Enuresis in children[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Increased bleeding tendency, thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Arthralgia, myalgia including muscle cramps[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Agitation including aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide)[Ref]


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4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

5. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

6. De Lepeleire I, Reiss TF, Rochette F, Botto A, Zhang J, Kundu S, Decramer M "Montelukast causes prolonged, potent leukotriene D4-receptor antagonism in the airways of patients with asthma." Clin Pharmacol Ther 61 (1997): 83-92

7. Reiss TF, Chervinsky P, Dockhorn RJ, Shingo S, Seidenberg B, Edwards TB "Montelukast, a once-daily leukotriene receptor antagonist, in the treatment of chronic asthma: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial." Arch Intern Med 158 (1998): 1213-20

8. Bronsky EA, Kemp JP, Zhang J, Guerreiro D, Reiss TF "Dose-related protection of exercise bronchoconstriction by montelukast, a cysteinyl leukotriene-receptor antagonist, at the en of a once-daily dosing interval." Clin Pharmacol Ther 62 (1997): 556-61

9. Noonan MJ, Chervinsky P, Brandon M, Zhang J, Kundu S, McBurney J, Reiss TF "Montelukast, a potent leukotriene receptor antagonist, causes dose-related improvements in chronic asthma." Eur Respir J 11 (1998): 1232-9

10. Leff JA, Busse WW, Pearlman D, et al. "Montelukast, a leukotriene-receptor antagonist, for the treatment of mild asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction." N Engl J Med 339 (1998): 147-52

11. Reiss TF, Altman LC, Chervinsky P, Bewtra A, Stricker WE, Noonan GP, Kundu S, Zhang J "Effects of montelukast (MK-0476), a new potent cysteinyl leukotriene (LTD4) receptor antagonist, in patients with chronic asthma." J Allergy Clin Immunol 98 (1996): 528-34

12. Minciullo PL, Saija A, Bonanno D, Ferlazzo E, Gangemi S "Montelukast-induced generalized urticaria." Ann Pharmacother 38 (2004): 999-1001

13. Sabio JM, Jimenez-Alonso J, Gonzalez-Crespo F "More About Churg-Strauss Syndrome and Montelukast Treatment." Chest 120 (2001): 2116

14. Sass DA, Chopra KB, Wu T "A case of montelukast-induced hepatotoxicity." Am J Gastroenterol 98 (2003): 704-5

15. Goldstein MF, Anoia J, Black M "Montelukast-induced hepatitis." Ann Intern Med 140 (2004): 586-7

16. Tang MB, Yosipovitch G "Acute churg-strauss syndrome in an asthmatic patient receiving montelukast therapy." Arch Dermatol 139 (2003): 715-8

17. Price D "Tolerability of montelukast." Drugs 59 (2000): 35-42

18. Wechsler ME, Finn D, Gunawardena D, Westlake R, Barker A, Haranath SP, Pauwels RA, Kips JC, Drazen JM "Churg-Strauss syndrome in patients receiving montelukast as treatment for asthma." Chest 117 (2000): 708-13

19. Dempsey OJ "Leukotriene receptor antagonist therapy." Postgrad Med J 76 (2000): 767-73

20. Jarvis B, Markham A "Montelukast - A review of its therapeutic potential in persistent asthma." Drugs 59 (2000): 891-928

21. Sabbagh R, Sheikh-Taha M "Possible montelukast-induced angioedema." Am J Health Syst Pharm 66 (2009): 1705-6

22. Philip G, Hustad C, Noonan G, et al. "Reports of suicidality in clinical trials of montelukast." J Allergy Clin Immunol 124 (2009): 691-696.e6

23. Kelsay K "Assessing risk: Data from montelukast clinical trials." J Allergy Clin Immunol 124 (2009): 697-8

It is possible that some side effects of Singulair may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.