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What should I know before taking a leukotriene modifier?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Your doctor may need to test your blood level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a liver enzyme, before beginning treatment with zileuton.

If you take zileuton, you should avoid alcohol.

Montelukast is available in several different forms, including oral granules, chewable tablets, and oral tablets. Oral granules may be given to children as young as 12 months. Zafirlukast can be given to children as young as 5 years. Zileuton can be taken by adults and children 12 years and older.

It is not known if montelukast is safe or effective for children under 1 year of age. It is not known if zafirlukast is safe or effective for children under 5 years of age. It is not known if zileuton is safe or effective for children under 12 years of age.

If you have liver disease or serum aminotransferase more than three times the upper limit of normal, you should not take zileuton. Montelukast may also not be a good option for you.

If you have phenylketonuria, montelukast chewable tablets may not be a good option for you.

If you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant, leukotriene modifiers may not be a good option for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

You should not take zafirlukast or zileuton if you are breastfeeding. Montelukast may not be a good option for you. It is not known if this drug can be passed into breast milk.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.