Singulair, or montelukast, is an orally administered drug that alleviates the symptoms and attacks associated with seasonal allergies and asthma 1. This drug is effective when used long-term to treat these conditions, though it should not be used during a sudden or acute flare-up. After many clinical studies, the makers of Singulair have determined that this drug is best taken at night when the airways are more relaxed and breathing is more controlled 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
According to the Prescribing Information Sheet that the maker of Singulair, Merck & Co., filed with the Food and Drug Administration, the drug was found to be the most effective when the pharmaceutical company ran clinical trials in the evening 12. This extended to 4, 5 and 10-mg doses, all of which were found to be effective when administered in the evening, regardless of when or whether the individual had eaten in the previous 3 or 4 hours. These clinical trials also found that there is no need to alter this dosing time or method based on age or gender, meaning that every affected demographic can benefit from taking Singulair at night 1. The maker further emphasized this dosing time by noting in the Prescribing Information Sheet that "one 5-mg chewable tablet daily at bedtime, significantly decreased the percent of days asthma exacerbations occurred. 2"
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Many doctors recommend and many patients find that it's easiest to remember to take one's medication if it's taken at the same time every day. Therefore, it is common for people to take daily medication if they can combine it with their daily routines, such as getting ready for work or getting ready for bed. Because Singulair is said to work better in the evenings, it is a good idea to take this drug before you go to bed 1. You can make this even easier to remember by combining this act with another common act often associated with bedtime, such as brushing your teeth or showering.
- Many doctors recommend and many patients find that it's easiest to remember to take one's medication if it's taken at the same time every day.
- Therefore, it is common for people to take daily medication if they can combine it with their daily routines, such as getting ready for work or getting ready for bed.
Seasonal Allergies or Asthma
There is one instance in which doctors do not encourage patients to take Singulair at night 1. This is when the drug is used to treat exercise-induced asthma. Being that the drug is trying to stave off an asthma attack that is caused by physical activity, it is best to take this drug at least 2 hours before one engages in the exercise to ensure that it can be effective. Note that those who use Singulair for exercise-induced asthma should not exceed more than one dose in 24 hours 1. This means that the patient would not take a nightly dose of Singulair after engaging in their physical activity 1.
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- Prescribing Information Sheet
- Merck & Co., Inc. Patient Information: Singulair. Updated February 2019.
- Sirois P. Leukotrienes: One step in our understanding of asthma. Respir Investig. 2019;57(2):97-110. doi:10.1016/j.resinv.2018.12.003
- Merck & Co., Inc. Singulair (Montelukast Sodium).
- Winkel JS, Damkier P, Hallas J, Henricksen DP. Treatment with motelukast and antidepressive medication-a symmetry analysis. Pharmacoedpidemiol Drug Saf. 2018;27(12):1409-15. doi:10.1002/pds.4638
Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.