Will Singulair Side Effects Affect My Mental Health?

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Singulair, Accolate, Zyflo and Zyflo CR have modified their product labeling to include information about certain potential mental health side effects that have been noted in patients using these products. Events that patients and health care providers need to be aware of include:

  • agitation
  • aggression
  • anxiousness
  • dream abnormalities
  • hallucinations
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • suicidal thinking and behavior
  • suicide
  • tremor

If you notice any of these side effects you need to make sure that you immediately talk with your prescribing doctor. The FDA has the following recommendations to patients and providers regarding Singulair side effects and side effects of other leukotriene modifiers:

  • Patients and healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential for neuropsychiatric events with these medications.
  • Patients should talk with their healthcare providers if these events occur.
  • Healthcare professionals should consider discontinuing these medications if patients develop neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The latest prescribing information for these products can be found on the FDA website.

Are There Alternatives to Singulair?

While not part of the current asthma guidelines, there is at least one alternative to Singulair if you experience side effects or do not want to take the medication. Interestingly it's not even a drug, but rather a medical food.

Medical foods are defined under the Orphan Drug Act and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just as it sounds, a medical food is a product whose purpose it is to function as a medical treatment by ingesting it as you would other foods. Rather than just eating healthy, these foods are particularly formulated to improve a disease.

Likewise, this is not just a food that you can pick up in the grocery store. The FDA says you need to be under the care of a doctor and they need to be routinely following you just as you need to do with any other asthma medication.

In this case, Lunglaid is a medical food that is designed to decrease leukotriene levels. The target population for this medical food is children with poorly controlled asthma who do not want to or cannot tolerate Singulair.

In clinical trials, Lunglaid demonstrated improved quality of life as well as decreases in leukotriene levels. Leukotriene homeostasis led to less chest tightness, cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.  Patients taking Lunglaid were noted to enjoy chores, sports, social activities as well as experiencing improved sleep. Also, side effects were no more common in the active treatment group than they were in the placebo group. Very few asthma treatments, even the ones with very few side effects, have a similar result from that perspective.


  1. FDA Post Market Safety Information. Accessed October 31, 2015. Updated Information on Leukotriene Inhibitors: Montelukast (marketed as Singulair), Zafirlukast (marketed as Accolate), and Zileuton (marketed as Zyflo and Zyflo CR)
  2. Lunglaid Clinical Studies. Accessed October 31, 2015.

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