0923 GMT October 15, 2019
Official advice from the drug regulator is a victory for The Mail, after they revealed that many patients, including children, said that montelukast had deeply affected their behavior.
They complained of nightmares, seeing grotesque things while awake and being gripped by suicidal urges after taking the drug, also known by the brand name Singulair, dailymail.co.uk reported.
It is extremely effective at cutting the frequency of severe asthma attacks and is also used to combat hay fever.
But now the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published a safety update as a reminder of the drug's 'risk of neuropsychiatric reactions'.
It reads: “Prescribers should carefully consider the benefits and risks of continuing treatment if they occur.”
After our first story was published in May, scores of people contacted the MoS to describe their ordeals.
Many complained they were never warned of the risks by their doctor. Some said when they returned to tell of their awful experiences, their fears that the drug was responsible were dismissed.
The MHRA warning urges health workers to tell patients of possible problems, saying they should 'advise patients and their care-givers to read carefully the list of neuropsychiatric reactions in the patient information leaflet and seek medical advice immediately should they occur'.
However, it also stressed to patients: “It is important you do not stop montelukast without talking to a doctor or asthma nurse first.'
This is because coming off medication might result in severe asthma attacks resuming.