Montelukast belongs to a group of medications known as leukotriene receptor antagonists. It is used to prevent and manage asthma symptoms and to relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever. It works by blocking the effects of leukotrienes, a substance produced by the body in response to certain “triggers” that cause narrowing and swelling of airways in the lungs. Montelukast usually starts to work within one day.
When used to prevent and manage asthma, it is important to understand that montelukast should not be used to relieve an asthma attack once it has started. People with asthma should always have their fast-acting asthma relief medication on hand to treat an asthma attack.