pill packet and pill box over a patter of pills

Raise Your Glasses to Mr. Montelukast!

In my life, I have had three serious asthma attacks, two of which I feel I was lucky to survive. The last one was circa 2005. I ended up in hospital in the summertime and it was a very scary period of my life.

The summer season in the UK can be hot and sticky with very high levels of pollen. This can be extremely dangerous for allergy sufferers, especially for us asthma sufferers.

My time in hospital

During my stay in the hospital, I was administered prednisone and oxygen and had to take nebulizers every four hours. When I left the hospital, I can remember thinking, "I never ever want to go through that again!"

My doctor kept a regular eye on me and he introduced me to a drug that, without any shadow of a doubt, literally saved my life! The drug's name is Singulair. The medical name is montelukast. It’s been an absolute wonder drug for me!

What effect does montelukast have?

How does it work? Singulair is an immunosuppressant. It works by blocking a mediator of inflammation called leukotriene. By blocking this chemical it stops the airways from narrowing, thus allowing air to pass into the lungs without any restriction.1 The drug may not be used to treat asthma alone; but it is, for me, an additional layer of medication that helps me to keep control in the management of my asthma.

It is so precious to me that I do not take it every day. I just keep a packet in my medicine cupboard in preparation for the hot summers. Ever since I have had the drug, I have not come close to a scary attack.

No more fearing the hot summer season

Now that I have this extra protection with the Singulair plus my Ventolin and Seretide inhalers, I feel that I no longer fear the summer season like how I used to. Before I had access to Singulair I would be very cautious about where I went and how long I was out for, and what I did while I was out. I often had to refuse offers from friends to participate in any sporting activities. It was just too dangerous. I think as serious as asthma is, people still treat the disease a little too lightly. My friends would say words to the effect of, "Come along, you'll be fine. Bring your inhaler!" Not fully understanding the full implications of what damage asthma can actually have on a person.

However, since having Singulair at my disposal, I am able to function like a normal human being- that is if my eczema is not out of control, too. I am so grateful to the medical professionals who have studied and worked on solutions to this extremely debilitating condition. I would urge anyone who is struggling to keep on top of their asthma to consult their primary carer about trying a new medication routine. As I understand it, Singulair does not work for everyone, but you will not know unless you try.

Have you taken Singulair? If so, what did you think? Share your experience in the comments below!

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