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Singulair Alternatives

Because of an FDA boxed warning for serious side effects, some people seek alternatives to Singulair for allergies and asthma, including prescription and OTC options. Homeopathic and holistic treatments are unregulated and have limited scientific support, therefore, these are not often recommended.

Last Modified: September 7, 2023
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Why Use an Alternative to Singulair?

Montelukast, the active ingredient in Singulair, is U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved to treat allergies and asthma. However, in March 2020, the FDA issued a black box warning for Singulair following reports of serious behavior and mood-related side effects.

Generic montelukast is an alternative to Singulair. However, it contains the same active ingredient and works similarly, which means it carries the same risks and benefits, including the boxed warning.

Some patients who took the medication have also filed Singulair lawsuits. The suits claim plaintiffs experienced severe mental health side effects.

People who were diagnosed with a mental health disorder after taking Singulair are filing lawsuits against the drug's manufacturer.
View Lawsuits

Accolate and Zyflo

Accolate and Zyflo are leukotriene receptor antagonists, just like Singulair. Doctors prescribe these drugs to treat asthma. Although they don’t currently have boxed warnings, they do come with warnings about possible mental health side effects, including:

  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Suicidal ideation or behavior
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Unusual dreams

Like Singulair, Accolate and Zyflo also carry warnings about potential liver injury. Discuss potential side effects and contraindications with your pharmacist or doctor. If you’re taking Accolate or Zylfo and experience serious side effects, speak with your doctor.

Prescription Allergy or Asthma Medications

After or along with inhaler treatment, prescribers may recommend Singulair and other leukotriene receptor antagonists for allergy-induced asthma. They address both allergy and asthma symptoms in one medication. Patients who experience adverse reactions to montelukast or don’t respond to similar medications may take separate allergy and asthma medications.

Alternative prescription medications for allergies and asthma include:
  • Immunotherapy: Allergy shots (e.g., Aimmune, Odactra), sublingual allergy medications (e.g., Oralair, Grastek) and monoclonal antibodies (e.g., Xolair, Nucala)
  • Inhaled Corticosteroids: Advair, Flovent

Each of these has potential side effects. For example, injectable promethazine, an allergy medication, carries two boxed warnings.

Over-The-Counter Singulair Alternatives

You may use many OTC medications to treat allergies as alternatives to Singulair. The only OTC asthma medication currently available is Primatene Mist.

OTC allergy medications include:
  • Allegra
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Nasacort
  • Xyzal
  • Zyrtec

OTC drugs may also have side effects. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth.

Are Homeopathic and Holistic Medications Effective Alternatives?

Homeopathic and holistic supplements for asthma and allergies are not FDA regulated medications. Instead they’re classified as food with less strict standards, which can result in a lack of consistency in their active ingredients.

There is limited scientific research supporting homeopathic and holistic supplements for asthma and allergies. As a result, patients should exercise caution and consult with their health care provider before using these as alternatives to Singulair.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.