Non-Steroidal Preventers

Other name: Preventer tablet. 

Brand names include APO-Montelukast, Lukair, Montelair, Montelukast, Montelukast APOTEX, Montelukast GH, Montelukast Lupin, Montelukast Mylan, Montelukast Sandoz, Singulair. 

Active ingredient name is montelukast.


Montelukast helps asthma by blocking substances in the lungs called leukotrienes . Leukotrienes cause narrowing and swelling of airways.  

Blocking leukotrienes improves asthma symptoms and helps prevent asthma attacks, as well as reducing hay fever symptoms. It can also be prescribed as an add-on treatment for adults. 

Montelukast starts to work within a day but can take days to weeks of consistent use to show improvement.  

Montelukast comes in a chewable tablet and is a common option for children. They can be used to help exercise-related asthma symptoms or hay fever.  

Montelukast is usually started as a treatment trial and should be reviewed after four to six weeks of starting.  


Overall, montelukast is a useful treatment for mild to moderate asthma and is generally very well tolerated. A safety review in April 2018 showed there was an association between montelukast and psychiatric side effects. These might include agitation, sleep disturbances and depression, or in rare cases, suicidal thinking and behaviour.  

We recommend parents watch for mood, behaviour or sleep changes in their children after starting this treatment. Usually, these will be seen in the first two weeks and if so, visit your doctor. If your child develops suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviours, seek medical attention urgently.  

We urge doctors to discuss with you or parents/carers about the possible side effects of montelukast if prescribed. We advise you and parents/carers to be aware of the potential side effects and to closely monitor for any changes while taking montelukast. If you notice a change in behaviour, seek medical attention.  

We recommend discussing your concerns with your doctor at the point of prescription. You can also visit this website Therapeutic Goods Administration to get more information.