Don't be surprised if the next refill of Singulair you get from the pharmacy looks a little different -- it just became a generic medication. Singulair (montelukast) is an oral leukotriene receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma in adults and children 6 months of age and older, available by prescription only. It is an extremely popular medication, and is often used as a first-line asthma controller medication, especially for children. Singulair seems to be very effective for up to one-third of patients, in my experience, partially effective for one-third, and ineffective for one-third.
Singulair has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be produced in generic form (as montelukast) by at least 2 to 3 different companies. While having generic medications is generally a good thing -- the prescription cost drops, sometimes dramatically -- it also means that doctors will no longer receive samples of Singulair. Giving patients a couple of weeks of samples is a nice way of trying out the benefits of a medication without having to make a purchase first. Unfortunately, having a generic version of Singulair means that a person will have to purchase the medication before they acutally know if the medication works for them or not.