Singulair Going Generic!

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Allergy and asthma sufferers will get relief of their symptoms and from the huge cost!

This month the FDA approved 10 generic versions of Singulair (montelukast) which will soon be available to you. This is a huge deal for people suffering from both asthma and allergies as this medication kills two birds with one stone. Singulair has been popular for that reason, as it works well for both allergies and asthma. What has hurt people is the cost. In just 2011 Singulair made Merck . . . wait for it . . . 5.5 billion dollars. This generic version, montelukast, is a serious game changer for patients’ lives as many folks who simply could not afford Singulair.

Montelukast (the generic Singulair) is in a class of medications called leukotriene receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of leukotrienes, substances in the body that cause the symptoms of asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Though it is not used for acute asthma attacks, the fact that montelukast is used to treat allergies AND treat and prevent the symptoms of asthma makes it extremely attractive.

Other available allergy medications are anti-histamines (Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, etc.) and are not indicated to help prevent or treat asthma so when Singulair came along it was amazing for those who could afford it. It is exciting to have montelukast as a cheaper option for our children and adults who suffer from allergies and asthma.

Dr O.

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