This medication is considered to have a low risk when used during pregnancy
What is montelukast?
Montelukast is a leukotriene receptor antagonist that treats chronic asthma and allergies.
What is montelukast used to treat?
Montelukast is a prescription medication used to prevent and treat asthma and nasal allergy symptoms.
How does montelukast work?
Montelukast blocks production of a chemical (leukotriene) in the body that causes signs and symptoms of asthma such as respiratory inflammation and chest tightness.
If I am taking montelukast, can it harm my baby?
Animal studies find no association between montelukast use during pregnancy and birth defects. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology released a position statement in 2000 that recommended montelukast in pregnant women with difficult-to-treat asthma who had success taking the medication before pregnancy. Pregnant women with uncontrolled asthma also have an increased risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth. A Danish study in asthmatic women taking montelukast through the first trimester of pregnancy found a higher risk of maternal complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth (side effects similar to women with uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy).
It is unknown if montelukast crosses the placenta to reach the baby. Studies of women exposed to montelukast during pregnancy have not proven a link to an increased risk of birth defects such as limb defects. Many of the reports of infants born with limb defects were in mothers who took several asthma medications. One study in 180 pregnant women found an increased risk of babies born with low birth weight and distress during delivery with montelukast exposure. Studies have not identified an increased risk of major birth defects such as cardiac abnormalities with in utero montelukast exposure.
If I am taking montelukast and become pregnant, what should I do?
It is important that you speak with your doctor and decide if you should still take montelukast during pregnancy. Some women with difficult-to-treat asthma who’ve had success with montelukast before pregnancy may require continuation of the medication during pregnancy.
If I am taking montelukast, can I safely breastfeed my baby?
The effect of montelukast on breastfeeding infants is unknown. In a study of seven women taking montelukast during breastfeeding, infant doses were estimated to be 0.68% of the mother’s dose. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of taking montelukast while breastfeeding since limited information is available. Montelukast is also used in children with asthma.
If I am taking montelukast, will it be more difficult to get pregnant?
Animal studies showed decreased fertility in females given high doses of montelukast, but this effect was not seen in males or females given lower doses of the medication.
If I am taking montelukast, what should I know?
It is generally thought that montelukast should be safe during pregnancy, but there is limited information available in humans. Montelukast should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the developing baby.
If I am taking any medication, what should I know?
This report provides a summary of available information about the use of montelukast during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Content is from the product label unless otherwise indicated.
You may find Pregistry's expert report about asthma here, and reports about the individual medications used to treat respiratory disorders here. Additional information can also be found in the resources below.
For more information about montelukast during and after pregnancy, contact http://www.womenshealth.gov/ (800-994-9662 [TDD: 888-220-5446]) or check the following link: