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Singulair OTC


What is Singulair OTC ?

Singulair is a brand name of montelukast drug.Singulair OTC, (or singular over the counter) was approved in 1998 for treating asthma in patients aged 15 years and older.

What are OTC drugs ?

Full form of OTC is an over-the-counter drug(.Eg Singulair OTC) These drugs are sold directly to a consumer without a requirement of prescription from a doctor. We regulate these drugs according to their active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) rather than final product.

In November 2016 India’s Drug Consultative Committee established a definition of over-the-counter drug. Prior to this, we consider all those drugs as OTC which did not fall into a prescription.

Examples of OTC are-:

  • Pain relievers like acetaminophen(Tylenol), ibuprofen (advil,motrin)

  • Cough Suppressants like dextromethorphan (Robitussin)

  • Antihistamines like loratadine (claritin 24H)

Drugs approved as OTC drugs when it is developed under the OTC drug Monograph Process. Drugs are approved by FDA and FDA requires a wider margin of safety for OTC drugs than for prescription drugs.

3 criteria that OTC drug have to fulfil are-:

  1. Must be safe

  2. Must be effective

  3. Must be for a condition that the patient can manage without supervision by a licensed health professional.

What is OTC Monograph?

It is a type of recipe book in which doses, formulations, and labelling of active ingredients. Following this monograph gives you assurance about effectiveness, and safety of drugs.

FDA rejects the use of Singulair OTC

In the US, nonprescription drugs advisory committee of the US food and drug administration(FDA) are against approving the montelukast as over-the -counter(OTC) drug for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Actually Merck Sharp and Dohme is an American Multinational pharmaceutical company trying to sell their prescription drug montelukast as an Over-The-Counter drug for allergy relief in adults only. But FDA advisory panels are against the merck’s attempt to sell their prescription drug montelukast (singulair) as an over-the-counter drug for allergy relief in adults only.

Singulair is given in treatment of:-

  1. Prophylaxis and chronic treatment of asthma

  2. Acute prevention of exercise induced bronchoconstriction

  3. Relief of symptoms of allergic rhinitis

  4. Relief of symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis

  5. Relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis

Singulair was Merck’s best selling drug with revenue of 4.76 billion in 2011 prior to its patent expiration mid 2012.

Santilli said “We have seen the prescription to OTC switch of allergy drugs significantly lowering the price of OTC products resulting in formulary exclusion of higher priced prescription medications’’.

Consumers want the shifting of high priced prescription drugs to low cost therapies that’s why Merck’s multinational company wants to convert singulair into OTC and decrease the cost of Singulair.

Is Singulair  a decongestant or antihistamine?

We think that Singulair OTC, is an antihistamine but this is wrong, it is not an antihistamine.

We take a singulair once a day daily.


  1. Treatment of chronic asthma

  2. Relief of symptoms`of allergic rhinitis

  3. Used in the treatment of chronic urticaria

  4. Used to prevent exercise induced asthma.

Allergic rhinitis

There are two types of allergic rhinitis-:

  1. Seasonal allergic rhinitis

  2. Perennial allergic rhinitis

Seasonal allergic rhinitis

It is triggered by pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Every year around spring and summer patients develop this type of allergy because pollen levels are high.

Perennial allergic rhinitis

It occurs year round. Commonly triggered by indoor allergens. Examples are dust mites, cockroaches, mold spores, or animal dander.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis-:

  1. Sneezing

  2. Runny nose

  3. Nasal congestion

  4. Itchy eyes

  5. Cough

  6. Fatigue

  7. Negatively impact on sleep, quality of life, cognitive function, productivity at school or work

Treatment of allergic rhinitis

We avoid allergen and medication is key to controlling allergic rhinitis.

We do medication in this way-:

  1. On mild symptoms doctor recommend an antihistamine

  2. After antihistamine medication if symptoms persist then doctors start their therapy and recommend an intranasal corticosteroid.

  3. In severe condition doctors give both an antihistamine and an intranasal corticosteroid.

How Singulair OTC works on allergic rhinitis?

Unlike other drugs used in medication, Singulair is not an antihistamine. Antihistamines reduces the production of histamine (natural first defence against allergens) in the body. But singulair blocks another mediator of inflammation called Leukotrienes.

Advantages of Singulair 

  1. Singulair OTC is used to treat nasal congestion

  2. Combination of Singulair and antihistamine are as much effective as nasal steroid sprays are effective for treatment of allergic rhinitis

Disadvantages of Singulair 

  1. Singulair OTC ,does not work all the time like when we use it for treating itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, and runny nose then it is not confirmed that it will be able to treat it.

  2. It cannot be used in emergency conditions. It takes three to seven days to start their work.

Side effects of Singulair 

Overall it is considered as relatively safe for medication. But there is no drug in the world which does not have side effects, so singulair otc ,also has some side effects.

Side effects are -:

  1. Skin rash

  2. Mood changes

  3. Headache or dizziness

  4. Abdominal pain, heartburn indigestion, nauseous, or a change in bowel movements

  5. Toothache or infection

  6. Ear pain or infection

  7. Muscle weakness

  8. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

  9. Fatigue

  10. Flu like symptoms

FAQ ON “Singulair OTC”

Q) Why do we have to take Singulair at night?

Ans:- In the treatment of asthma we have to take Singulair at night because asthma symptoms become worse at night. Generally it starts their work after taking their first dose but some people have to take for one week to notice a change in their symptoms.

Q) How long should we take singulair?

Ans:- Singulair is taken once a day in the evening for prevention of asthma or allergy symptoms. Take a single dose at least two hours before you start your exercise for the prevention of symptoms of exercise induced bronchoconstriction. Do not take another dose for at least twenty four hours.

Q)Does Singulair cause anxiety?

Ans:- Yes, it can occur in some people but not in everyone. If it occurs then patients have to immediately contact the doctor. It cause -:

  1. Bad or vivid dreams

  2. Depression

  3. Disorientation or confusion

  4. Feeling anxious

  5. Hallucinations

  6. Irritability

  7. Restlessness

  8. Stuttering

  9. Uncontrolled muscular movements

Q)How does Singulair make you feel?

Ans:- It make you feel like psychiatric type effects including-:

  1. Agitation

  2. Aggressive behavior

  3. Anxiety

  4. Depression

  5. Abnormal dreams

  6. Hallucinations

  7. Dizziness or drowsiness and affect a person’s ability to drive and operate machinery

These symptoms are observed in patients of all ages who take Singulair.

Q)Will Singulair help cough?

Ans:- Yes , chain reactions that cause your airways to become swollen and inflamed that chain reaction are blocked by Singulair. Fine said that, if symptoms are pretty mild, you would start with montelukast, a long term control medicine.

Q)Does Singulair break up mucus?

Ans:- yes , it breaks mucus or congestion in your nose. It also reduces sneezing, itching, and eye allergies. It helps in reducing the inflammation of airways of allergies and asthma patients. Singulair mainly works by stopping the action of a chemical called Leukotriene and due this our nasal passages swell and make a lot of mucus.

Q)Can we use Singulair as an anti-inflammatory?

Ans:-Yes we can use Singulair as an anti-inflammatory drug because , Singulair is known as a Leukotriene receptor antagonist means it works by blocking the action of chemical Leukotriene. Leukotriene is a chemical in the body which causes inflammatory reactions in the body and Singulair blocks Leukotrienes. This means that it stops inflammatory reactions in the body. So we can say that Singulair also works as an anti-inflammatory drug.

Q)Can you take Singulair two times a day?

Ans:- No, we cannot take Singulair two times a day.

Q)Can we take Singulair and Mucinex together?

Ans:- Mucinex and Singulair have no interaction with each other. But this does not mean that no interaction can be established between these two. Consult your doctor, they will give you the right suggestion.

Q)Can we use Singulair for the treatment of shortness of breath?

Ans:- Singulair control the symptoms of asthma and shortness of breath are also a symptom of asthma so it is obvious that Singulair will cure the problem of shortness of breath. We also use this drug before doing exercise.

Q)Can we call Singulair a steroid?

Ans:- No, Singulair OTC is not a steroid. It is only a prescribed drug which

only blocks the chemical action of Leukotrienes and help to improve the symptoms of asthma and inflammation of the lining of nose.

Q)What are the list of medicines that can interact with Singulair?

Ans:- Those medicines are-:

  1. Advair Diskus (fluticasone/salmeterol)

  2. Albuterol

  3. Allegra (fexofenadine)

  4. Aspirin

  5. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

  6. Claritin (loratadine)

  7. Cymbalta (duloxetine)

  8. Flonase (fluticasone nasal)

  9. Gabapentin

  10. Levothyroxine

  11. Lisinopril

  12. Melatonin

  13. Metformin

  14. Mucinex (guaifenesin)

  15. Nexium (esomeprazole)

  16. Omeprazole

  17. Prednisone

  18. ProAir HFA (albuterol)

  19. Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol)

  20. Synthroid (levothyroxine)

  21. Tramadol

  22. Trazodone

  23. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

  24. Xanax(alprazolam)

  25. Xyzal (levocetirizine)

  26. Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Q)Mention the list of diseases that interact with Singulair?

Ans:- There are four disease which interact with Singulair-:

  1. Neuropsychiatric disorder

  2. Liver disorder

  3. PKU

  4. Pulmonary disorders

Q)Can Singulair OTC harm the kidney?

Ans:-No , even Singulair shows protective effects on chronic renal failure induced multiple organ injury. It also inhibits neutrophil infiltration and apoptosis.

Q)Can Singulair harm the liver?

Ans:- Yes , Singulair can harm the liver. Liver injury occurs due to Singulair can be resolved in one to four months automatically. Rechallenge singulair may lead to recurrence and should be avoided. Use of leukotriene receptor antagonist or Singulair has been reported to be safe, but should be done with caution.

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