An Allergy Medicine Singulair (Montelukast) is Showing Promising Results on COVID-19 patients

As there is no specific treatment medicine for COVID-29, doctors and researchers are trying everything that might help to relieve the symptoms of this deadly virus and save the lives of the patients. These efforts also include trying the “off label” treatments for relieving coronavirus symptoms. In this regard, an allergy and asthma medicine, Singulair which is sold as Montelukast is showing promising effects. However, it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as treatment medicine for COVID-19.

This positive news is reported by the Coney Island Hospital, where patients admitted for COVID-19 are showing remarkable improvement after taking this allergy medication. Singulair is a world-wide popular medicine that generally treats breathing problems linked with allergy-induced respiratory inactions.

Dr. Caleb Hernandez from the Coney Island Hospital has discussed Singulair based treatment through a Zoom call which was sponsored by the blog “wholisthealth.com” and also in the emDOCs Facebook group.

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He said that COVID-19 is indeed an extreme medical condition that needs extreme care and medical attention, especially if the patient is in his older ages or has underlying conditions. He shared that patients who were given Singulair have shown good progress and recovery however it would be too early to say that Singulair can treat COVID-19. Also, he added that it needs more research and testing before making such a statement.

Singulair or Montelukast by the chemical is a “leukotriene inhibitor”. Leukotriene is released naturally by the human body whenever it is exposed to an allergen. Allergens are different for different people and some of the common allergens are pollen, grasses, weeds, and dust.

When a person breathes in the air that has these allergens, it triggers the body, and leukotrienes are released, causing swelling of the respiratory tract and lungs. The inner mucosal linings are irritated and the muscles around windpipe tighten, causing a breathing difficulty such as asthma.

Using Singulair prevents the body to initiate an asthma attack. It is helpful for adults and children both. In addition to asthma, it also relieves from bronchoconstriction caused by strenuous exercise which makes it hard for a person to breathe.

Overall, Singulair treats symptoms of seasonal as well as perennial allergies and it is safe for at least six months old children to older adults.

Hernandez has shared that this same allergy medication Singulair is now helping many patients of COVID-19 who were hospitalized but now they have recovered.  He referred to medical research performed and published by the researcher from the University of Virginia, Dr. Tom Braciale, explaining Singulair helps to reduce the inflammation inside the lungs. Which is why it has helped coronavirus patients to recover as well.

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There are good reasons to believe that this medicine has also prevented the infection in lungs that are generally linked with oxygen exchange. If these cells are protected and remain unattached by a coronavirus, the immune system would not damage them considering as a threat. Hence they will be able to continue their function and promote faster healing.

Singulair is not approved by the FDA as a COVID-19 treatment medicine. But there are millions of people who take it to control allergies and asthma safely, without any undesirable effects. So it is easy for the doctors to continue using this “off-label” treatment technique on COVID-19 to induce good lung health.

After this news, many doctors from other hospitals are also considering to prescribe Singulair on COVID-19 patients. A trial on this allergy medicine is soon to begin which would investigate its role on coronavirus patients in an attempt to add it as a potential treatment for COVD-19, if successful.


Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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